Buses Are a Comin': Book summary and reviews of Buses Are a Comin' by Charles Person

Buses Are a Comin'

Memoir of a Freedom Rider

by Charles Person

Buses Are a Comin' by Charles Person X
Buses Are a Comin' by Charles Person
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A firsthand exploration of the cost of boarding the bus of change to move America forward - written by one of the Civil Rights Movement's pioneers.

At 18, Charles Person was the youngest of the original Freedom Riders, key figures in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who left Washington, D.C. by bus in 1961, headed for New Orleans. This purposeful mix of black and white, male and female activists―including future Congressman John Lewis, Congress of Racial Equality Director James Farmer, Reverend Benjamin Elton Cox, journalist and pacifist James Peck, and CORE field secretary Genevieve Hughes―set out to discover whether America would abide by a Supreme Court decision that ruled segregation unconstitutional in bus depots, waiting areas, restaurants, and restrooms nationwide.

The Freedom Riders found their answer. No. Southern states would continue to disregard federal law and use violence to enforce racial segregation. One bus was burned to a shell; the second, which Charles rode, was set upon by a mob that beat the Riders nearly to death.

Buses Are a Comin' provides a front-row view of the struggle to belong in America, as Charles leads his colleagues off the bus, into the station, into the mob, and into history to help defeat segregation's violent grip on African American lives. It is also a challenge from a teenager of a previous era to the young people of today: become agents of transformation. Stand firm. Create a more just and moral country where students have a voice, youth can make a difference, and everyone belongs.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] striking personal history of the 1961 Freedom Rides in protest of the nonenforcement of Supreme Court rulings banning racial segregation on interstate transportation...Shot through with vivid details of beatdowns, arrests, and awe-inspiring bravery, this inspirational account captures the magnitude of what the early civil rights movement was up against." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A stirring memoir...By divulging the inner stories of his fellow riders, Person offers a unique and powerful aggregate view of events. A vital story, this memoir is also an instructive gift to future generations fighting for change." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A compelling narrative, rich in its description of the searing brutality of white racists opposed to the Freedom Rides of 1961, powerful in its depiction of the courage of civil rights protestors." - William H. Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History, emeritus, Duke University; former president, Organization of American Historians, author of Civilities and Civil Rights and The Rise and Fall of the American Century

"Charles Person's book is a very personal, poignant and political account of his life's evolution. It is especially revelatory for young males (of any ethnicity) in their sacred search for 'self, relevance and calling.' It is a vivid personal snapshot of his coming of age. He fully exposes his life's journey: genuinely and movingly. His legacy is well established in this writing. He reminds us of the debt that we owe for the life that we have been given; and that to whom much is given and entrusted, much more is required." - Rev. Dr. Carolyn M McKinstry, author of While the World Watched

"Buses Are a Comin' is the most complete recounting we have of any of the Freedom Riders' experiences during those epochal days of 1961, and is at times lyrical, always insightful, and reveals a true American hero who is humble and appreciative. But Charles Person also subtly wants to exhort others, this and future generations, to 'get on the bus' and challenge inequality and injustice." - Derek Catsam, Professor of History and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the Humanities, University of Texas-Permian Basin, and author of Freedom's Main Line: The Journey of Reconciliation and the Freedom Rides

This information about Buses Are a Comin' shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Charles Person

Charles Person is the only living Freedom Rider who remained with the original Ride from its start in Washington, D.C. to its end in New Orleans. This historic event helped defeat Jim Crow laws in the U.S. A sought-after public speaker, Charles maintains active contacts with schools, museums and the activist community.

Richard Rooker is an English and history educator, writing coach, and longtime personal friend of Charles Person. He is an active board member of the Indiana Historical Society.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more biography/memoir...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free

Discover books that
entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Women of Chateau Lafayette
    The Women of Chateau Lafayette
    by Stephanie Dray
    The Women of Chateau Lafayette, Stephanie Dray's latest work of historical fiction, revolves around ...
  • Book Jacket: Windhall
    Windhall
    by Ava Barry
    Ava Barry's debut mystery novel Windhall is centered around the salacious murder of a starlet named ...
  • Book Jacket: Libertie
    Libertie
    by Kaitlyn Greenidge
    Kaitlyn Greenidge burst onto the literary scene in 2016 with her award-winning novel, We Love You, ...
  • Book Jacket
    Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982
    by Cho Nam-joo, Jamie Chang
    'Kim Jiyoung is thirty-three years old, thirty-four Korean age. She got married three years ago and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Raft of Stars
    by Andrew J. Graff

    A timeless story of loss, hope, and adventure set against the vividly rendered landscape of the Upper Midwest.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    Of Women and Salt
    by Gabriela Garcia

    A kaleidoscopic portrait of generations of women from a 19th-century Cuban cigar factory to the present day.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Win This Book!
Win The Beauty of Your Face

A New York Times Notable Book of 2020

"Stunning.… A timely family saga with faith and forgiveness at its core."
Marie Claire

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

It's N S O M N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.