Would His Activism End His Young Life?

A burned autobus
Leslie Taylor-Grover
April 23, 2021

Charles Person could end up murdered. In fact, what he was about to do was so uncertain that even MLK was afraid to do it! Yet as dangerous as it was, like second nature, Person said yes without hesitation. What on Earth was capable of creating such peril?

Person was only 18 when he joined the Freedom Riders, a powerful Civil Rights effort to challenge segregation and demand our rights throughout the South. But why was being a Freedom Rider so dangerous?

He would need to ride from Washington, DC to New Orleans, picking up new riders, and participating in protests along the way. All the while, racists hassled, interrupted, and even frequently got violent with the young activists challenging their white supremacy. Person took the ride despite the risks! But things got worse.

Unlike others – including Martin Luther King, Jr. – who got off or even gave up when then violence got too treacherous, he stayed the course, even after being severely beaten. In fact, he was the only Freedom Rider to complete the entire trip! He’s still alive today.

Person was determined to fight racial inequality to the best of his ability. Even when others were deterred, he let nothing stand in the way of him challenging a racist and oppressive system. In what ways will you manifest a Persons-like perseverance in your life?

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