Freedom Ride to Houston
with Dr. Halcyon Sadberry Watkins, Patricia Kovner, Dr. Serbino Sandifer-Walker, Dr. James Matthew Douglas, Joseph Stevenson, and Robert Farrell
Despite two Supreme Court rulings in 1944 and 1960, which outlawed racial segregation on interstate buses, waiting rooms, lunch counters, and bathrooms, segregation practices persisted in many areas of the southern U.S. years later.
Groups of white and Black civil rights activists boarded buses together in "freedom rides" to protest segregation in public transit. They were often confronted by arresting police officers — and violence from white protestors.
On August 12, 1961, after participating in nonviolence trainings, eleven college students from California joined the Freedom Riders movement and boarded a train to Houston. Upon arrival, they joined with students from Texas Southern University to desegregate the coffee shop at Houston’s Union Station.