“Reverse Freedom Rides” Attempted To Halt Civil Rights

Greyhound Bus
Leslie Taylor-Grover
November 1, 2020

The summer of 1962 seemed extra hot for our people who lived in the South. White terrorists were having a field day burning churches, killing voter registration workers, and trying to murder Black college students. But there was one bright spot.

All over the South, flyers boasted about jobs and housing in Northern cities. For hundreds of Black families, this was the chance to get out of poverty and build a better life!

But there was a catch.

They’d been promised jobs and support in the North, but it was all a scam! Southern racists had planned it all to make Northern whites – and our people – look stupid in the eyes of the world. So what happened to the families?

They arrived – to no jobs ready for them! But rather than sending the “Reverse Freedom Riders” home, however, the families were housed in barracks, college dorms, and even jail beds. Local NAACPs pooled resources to help the families find jobs and permanent housing

So did the racists’ plan work?

Nope! When all was said and done, the travelers ended up with housing and jobs – because our people created opportunities! When we work together, there is nothing we cannot overcome – even being used as pawns in racist games.

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