Tag Archives: Stanley Nelson

FREEDOM RIDERS : A Stanley Nelson Film : American Experience – In memory

  Get Inspired

 The World Premiere: In 2010 at Sundance Film Festival, US

 A Documentary Competition

Award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) returns to the Sundance Film Festival with his latest documentary FREEDOM RIDERS, the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way.

FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.

“I got up one morning in May and I said to my folks at home, I won’t be back today because I’m a Freedom Rider. It was like a wave or a wind that you didn’t know where it was coming from or where it was going, but you knew you were supposed to be there.” — Pauline Knight-Ofuso, Freedom Rider

Despite two earlier Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, black Americans in 1961 continued to endure hostility and racism while traveling through the South. The newly inaugurated Kennedy administration, embroiled in the Cold War and worried about the nuclear threat, did little to address domestic Civil Rights.See the source image

“It became clear that the Civil Rights leaders had to do something desperate, something dramatic to get Kennedy’s attention. That was the idea behind the Freedom Rides—to dare the federal government to do what it was supposed to do, and see if their constitutional rights would be protected by the Kennedy administration,” explains Raymond Arsenault, author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, on which the film is partially based.

Organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the self-proclaimed “Freedom Riders” came from all strata of American society—black and white, young and old, male and female, Northern and Southern. They embarked on the Rides knowing the danger but firmly committed to the ideals of non-violent protest, aware that their actions could provoke a savage response but willing to put their lives on the line for the cause of justice.

Each time the Freedom Rides met violence and the campaign seemed doomed, new ways were found to sustain and even expand the movement. After Klansmen in Alabama set fire to the original Freedom Ride bus, student activists from Nashville organized a ride of their own. “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were gonna die, but we can’t stop,” recalls Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland. “If one person falls, others take their place.”

Later, Mississippi officials locked up more than 300 Riders in the notorious Parchman State Penitentiary. Rather than weaken the Riders’ resolve, the move only strengthened their determination. None of the obstacles placed in their path would weaken their commitment.

The Riders’ journey was front-page news and the world was watching. After nearly five months of fighting, the federal government capitulated. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations that had been in place for generations. “This was the first unambiguous victory in the long history of the Civil Rights Movement. It finally said, ‘We can do this.’ And it raised expectations across the board for greater victories in the future,” says Arsenault.

“The people that took a seat on these buses, that went to jail in Jackson, that went to Parchman, they were never the same. We had moments there to learn, to teach each other the way of nonviolence, the way of love, the way of peace. The Freedom Ride created an unbelievable sense: Yes, we will make it. Yes, we will survive. And that nothing, but nothing, was going to stop this movement,” recalls Congressman John Lewis, one of the original Riders.

Says Stanley Nelson, “The lesson of the Freedom Rides is that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people. And that sometimes to do any great thing, it’s important that we step out alone.”

A Stanley Nelson Film
A Firelight Media Production for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Produced, Written and Directed by
Stanley Nelson

Produced by
Laurens Grant

Edited by
Lewis Erskine, Aljernon Tunsil

Archival Producer
Lewanne Jones

Associate Producer
Stacey HolmanDirector of Photography
Robert Shepard

Tom Phillips

Music Supervisor
Rena Kosersky

Based in part on the book Freedom Riders by
Raymond Arsenault

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston.
Senior producer
Sharon Grimberg

Executive producer
Mark Samels

Stanley Nelson … In memory of Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and “Freedom Riders” and the 2011 Student Freedom Ride

Freedom Riders Official Trailer, 

Films to Watch – by Stanley Nelson :

(1)   Wounded Knee

(2) Jonestown: The life and Death of Peoples Temple

(3)The Murder of Emmett Till

(4)  Freedom Riders

First posted 1/2011


Featured pix/poster is “Freedom Riders” Could You get on the Bus? … a documentary by Stanley Nelson who btw received a WGA nomination –

Most of us now know that the RTP lie called …the Pledge to America was a document that House Republican Tea Party ran on clearly was a bunch of BS people; folks need to open up their eyes.

The word of the week …or in a word that true Republican Tea Party members can understand -Turncoat

A Person Who Changes Uniforms During Wartime To Appear As If They Are On Your Side. Could Also Be Someone Who’s Not Really Your Friend But Are Only Trying To get Information For Your Enemy

Though the mystery of our birds and fish dying en masse is still -a mystery, it is also spreading into other countries such as Brazil and Sweden.  It worries me but hey that’s just me.  There is a storm a coming to the NYC area folks so get off the roads and stay safe at home.  I just heard the employment numbers and some good news to report … about 103,000 – 145,000 jobs were added to the system and the unemployment number is between 9.4 – 9.7. I say that because the reports on the radio varied. In other good news Ted Williams …the voice has a second chance to use his vocals to make a living having been homeless for a while. I am quite sure the reports from various news and or entertainment shows are leaving out details … I just feel he had a job or two using his voice but things got bad then ugly and homeless etc. and now is a rags to riches story maybe, but he needs real community support and I hope that whoever tries to help knows that.

Today, there was a vote to see if the RTP could move H.Res.26 forward which would repeal the new health care law that covers our elders, women ,people with preexisting conditions and those with children under 26 could be covered, which is a relief if you have an active kid who happens to have some issues but … with a test vote or vote to move H.Res. 26 forward to repeal HCR  passed with Yeas 236-182Nays.  It is sad that 4 democrats voted with the Republican Tea Party, 2Republicans voted Present -Sessions&Fitzpatrick but then i read 15 members of  the House did not vote ? 7Republicans – 8Democrats and that was disturbing … did they opt out, did they refuse or were they absent? The final vote is next week sometime as the House adjourned until the 11th of January.

A vote on H.Res. 27  which, I have to say is a vague if not totally confusing Resolution to me is described as >>( H. Res. 27): Relating to the status of certain actions taken by Members-elect …includes 27 Democrats for it-as quoted from the actual session, ” On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to by recorded vote … 257 – 159, 3 Present (Roll no. 11).

is your House member of Congress listed here and if so maybe you ought to call them …

just sayin

Barton (TX)
Carson (IN)

Davis (IL)

Smith (NE)
Wilson (FL)

While it is unfortunate that the guy we now have to call Speaker is Rep. John Boehner; he came right out and not only announced they want to repeal HCR, Wall Street Reform, investigate all things President Obama they have promised a lot even an open Congress but walked that back with comments that not on all amendments and has said nothing, nothing about creating jobs. The last few days and or months; say, since the 2008 elections we have been bombarded with crazy talk  from the right and while we may gasp at all or most of what they throw out at us. It should open the eyes of all that have been trying to decide which side of the aisle they should be on.

The first week the Republican Tea Party claimed control of the House they had two members blow-off the swearing in process to party at some venue, made up new rules that include keeping the Democratic Party from participating, stripped out honesty and transparency while telling Americans they want a more open Congress. They also took away voting rights to 6delagates from Guam, Puerto Rico, Dist. of Columbia, American Samoa, five are Democrats and all come from places that are mostly of Brown/Black people,  spent 1.1 million reading the Constitution, had a birther yell out when our beloved John Lewis was reading the 14th Amendment which was not just offensive but it’s clear the Republican Tea Party still has members that insist on behaving rude and ugly. They have decided to vote for repealing health care sometime next week. In addition, the Republican Tea Party made up the cut and go rule which says all spending increases need to be offset with spending cuts, but more tax cuts for the wealthy can be simply added to the deficit. WaPo

The Financial reform bill should move us all beyond Wall Street to get Every Street fixed with the somewhat watered down bill along with the new appointment of Elizabeth Warren. The Bush Administration did let We the People down by avoided reforming and or regulating anything financial.  We all know that anything financial finally needed to be repaired and reintroduced so that it functioned  correctly not corruptly and President Obama was able to get some in Congress to see and accept the idea and step up to the plate and got it done. Though President Obama has gotten things done the Administration is not getting the credit in this nasty climate; what seems to be louder and even noisier is the trash that Republicans keep talking.

it is clear to me Republican talk is cheap.

Other News …

**Schilling’s video game company to open up shop in RI by May

**Holiday gave Mass retailers a big lift

**Gates wants to cut Billions in defense –

**President Obama names Sperling head of National Economic Council

**Geithner warns Congress, raise debt limit to avoid national catastrophe

**Bernanke feels recovery is finally happening

**Rudy thinks he has another chance at being President …dmml

**Gov. Rick Scott denies flip-flop on Fl.gambling says he wont be making any more flight plans public when using his private jet for state business …hmmm and defended paying high salaries to some staffers


Congressional Black Caucus Swearing In Ceremony
Wednesday     Washington, DC

Forty-three members of the Congressional Black Caucus participated in a ceremonial swearing-in event on Capitol Hill in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center.  Incoming CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Outgoing CBC Chairman Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Incoming House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as well as Incoming Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) made remarks at the event hosted by The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) spoke to reporters outside the Senate Chamber and said there is “lots and lots of support” in the Democratic Caucus for changing the Senate’s filibuster rules. Senator Reid also said that Republican House leaders should accept that the health care law is not going to be repealed and put their energies toward more productive matters.

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen spoke to reporters at the Pentagon to discuss efficiencies initiatives in the Department of Defense.  Secretary Gates outlined tens of billions in potential savings within the existing Pentagon budget.  It’s part of an ongoing effort to slow the growth of defense spending.

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Senate Democratic leaders sharply criticized new rules passed by the Republican House majority. Senate Democratic Vice Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said the new rules will have the effect of greatly increasing the federal budget deficit.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) spoke with the press on Capitol Hill about their agenda.  The two House leaders discussed a bill that would cut the House’s operating budget, repealing the health care law and responded to reporters’ questions.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) spoke with reporters following a meeting with his fellow Republicans at the Capitol. Senators are currently negotiating changes to the filibuster rules, which currently require 60 votes for cutting off debate on legislation and Executive Branch nominees. Senator McConnell was joined by other members of the Republican leadership.

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The House Rules Committee worked late into the evening to finish its report on the rules that will regulate the debate process for next week’s health care debate. Republican leaders are now set to bring the rules package up on the House floor tomorrow for a vote.

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