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Buses Are a Comin'

Memoir of a Freedom Rider

by Charles Person, Richard Rooker

Buses Are a Comin' by Charles Person, Richard Rooker X
Buses Are a Comin' by Charles Person, Richard Rooker
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2021, 304 pages
    Jan 11, 2022, 304 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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Freedom Riders
Literally and metaphorically, Charles Person describes the road to and his actual involvement in the protest action of May 1961 called Freedom Riders.
He manages to render the clear chronology and facts which led to the event while also reconstructing the lineage of people and actions which had preceded and then followed the Freedom Riders.
A group of white and black people, under the guidance of CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality) and CORE leader James Farmer decide to force an awakening, that of the unjust, inhumane and not lastly illegal way blacks were discriminated against in everyday life. So, on the ride from Washington DC to New Orleans, while travelling by bus, the Greyhound or the Trailways, Charles Person and his fellows test time and again the forms of segregation blacks encountered when trying to use bus services and accommodations in the South of the US. They pay severely for the risk taken and demonstrate that America was not ready then to treat its citizens equally even if mandated by law, and even more, it would put black lives and white supporters’ lives in danger. By also referring to later, current events, Charles Person points to the fact that inequality continues to plague the American society.
The vivid memories gush from a depth of feeling, not at all blunted by the passing of time or the loss of the recording tool. Adding pervasive and eloquent rhetoric enhances the intensity of feeling and we, the readers, see in vivid images the hope and desolation, the inflicted cuts and blood, the fierceness and despair but all the while the non-violent determination of the Riders and of all their supporters and helpers along the way.
The writing is an emotional piece as much as it is an accurate account of events. It is a captivating and illuminating read which is worth spending time with and reflecting upon, the more so since it challenges us all to activism for the abundant causes that arise in the present world.
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