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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 5, 2009 8:00pm-9:00pm EST

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intellectuals who should have known better with advanced training and degrees from ivy league institutions seemed to accept these very simplified accounts of what actually happened. indeed, you'll see some really very intelligent people, a slovenian social theorist basically said -- and i'm paraphrasing him -- yugoslavia was over the moment milosevic became president of serbia, you know, as if all the problems were caused by this one individual. ..
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in a certain sense of the term i guess he could call its actions in afghanistan and invasion. as you could also in the case of kosovo, and that is forced entry to read and so yes, this was a form of invasion. there's no question that at
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least the iraq and kosovo actions were violations of international law in the sense that they were done without getting approbation from the u.n. security council vote in the case of afghanistan there was a security council resolution that was a legal basis for the military option in that case and the other cases they were not. and so the exception of the iraq case these interventions were illegal military option to the collections. i think it is a legally recognized certainly in the case of kosovo there's been many post/rocky legal analyses that defend a moral purpose as beyond the wall. but as we see looking more carefully at the circumstances. >> are there any more questions?
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>> after being in mexico for a year, i observed that the government decided to intervene in our own country if we can call it that way and use the military force to eradicate the talks, the market of drugs, something, i don't really know what they wanted to eradicate. but the numbers -- mccaul my attention because you cited 2,000 kosovo and after the bombings it went up to 10,000 if i am not wrong. the numbers in mexico after this war on drugs started i would say in a matter of a year or two went up to both in thousand with people being be headed and all sorts of weapons used, so i find
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part of it between this military intervention and mexican in this case i feel support by the u.s. just by looking at what's happened. >> it's a very good illustration. military force in the case of mexico to a problem that admittedly was a problem and produced better results which was drug-trafficking and violence from drug-trafficking and there was an effort to get tough and crack down on the drug trafficking which made the problem worse, great level of human suffering and there was parallel to what happened in kosovo. that, you know, the idea that military force is a humane instrument is problematic in principle and is contradicted by basic facts of what has happened in instances of what has been tried and multiply is a good
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illustration of that i agree. >> all right if there are any other questions please let me know at this time otherwise i.t. we are going to go ahead and in the the event at this point and we are going to sit professor gibbs up at the table right there for the book signings with any of you have brought a book today or would like to purchase a book we have them available for 20% discount at the general discounter in the general direction. so please, feel free to do so and if you just have a question you want to ask professor gibbs i'm sure he would be happy to talk to you with the end. let me take the opportunity to say thank you for coming today. we very much appreciate it and we hope we see you at the next behind the books event. thank you. [applause] >> david gibbs is history professor at the university of arizona.
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he is the author of the political economy of third world intervention. for more information, visit >> watch the senate debate on health care live gavel-to-gavel here on c-span2. the only network with the full debate on the edited and commercial free. to read the senate bill and house version plus watch video-on-demand, go online to from the 29 southern fistful of books, iraq etheridge discusses his book, "breach of peace" portraits of the 1961 mississippi freedom riders to read this event is 50 minutes.
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>> it's great to be here backend negative phill and it's great to be at the festival. it seems like a great event, and congratulations on all your work. to my need to use this? okay, good. thank you for coming this morning. i'm going to talk a little bit and tell you about the freedom rides and the mug shots that enabled me to do my book, "breach of peace." and then rick patton, a special guest as nancy said, will talk about his experience in national and mississippi has freedom riders. we are here today because of the remarkable events of 48 years ago. the freedom ride for the third major campaign in the modern civil rights movement. in late 1955, of course, rosa parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus in montgomery and thus began the bus boycott there.
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february, 1964, black college students in greensboro, north carolina, walked into a woolworth one morning and began a sit-in movement which spread like wildfire in cities and towns across the south and was very successful in desegregating many businesses. in 1961 the movement was asking itself the question okay, what do we do next? how do we continue to up the ante, how do we put more pressure on the system and force change? the freedom flight was james former's idea, and this is his mug shot from jackson. he was the newly installed head of core, congress of racial equality. and he knew in 1960 the supreme court ruled segregation on bus and train stations was illegal. he also knew southern stations were still segregating and that the federal government was making no effort to enforce the law we.
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so he and his colleagues envision a demonstration ride through the south by a small group of riders both black and white, into agreeing stations along the way, and trying to draw some attention to the situation. so may 14th, i'm sorry, may 4, 13 riders, like i said a mixed group of black and white, men and women, left washington on to buses. their final destination was new orleans on may 17th which would have been the seventh anniversary of brown v board of education. and now, as you can see from the map on the wall, the -- at the time the freedom ride started jackson was but one stop on the way. and get ultimately became the focus of the freedom rides. how did that happen? the original 13 riders made their way through the upper south without too much incident. there was violence in rock hill, south carolina.
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however, when the hour live in alabama on sunday, may 14th, which was mother's day, all hell broke loose. a bus a riding in an dustin was set upon by the mall. its tires slashed and forced off the road. at which point someone threw a firebomb in the boss and blocked the door preventing flood freedom riders from getting out. the almost burned to death before they managed to ease it. later that same day when a second group of freedom riders got off the bus in birmingham they were set upon by a mob and beaten for several minutes before the police showed up. where were the police? she said later he had given him the day off so they could spend it with their mothers. after these two tax the freedom rides basically collapsed. but the effort was revived by reinforcements from the national student movement. i'm skipping over a lot of history here that you can read in the book freedom rides and
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other books like developer stan's, "the children,," and rip will talk about this when he gets up here. but national was one of the preeminent movements in the south of the civil rights movement and they recognize the danger and immediately after these two tax they started sending people into montgomery. i'm sorry, to birmingham, to keep the light coming. and about a week later, on the 20th of may, the bride's pressed on to montgomery. once again, when they arrived at the station, the police were nowhere to be found. and the riders were left alone to face the mall. john lewis was hit in the head with a coca-cola crete, reporters also attacked in john seigenthaler, who led the time was working for bobby kennedy in the department of justice was hit in the head with a pipe and knocked out. at this point, there were calls from pretty much every corner of the establishment from the freedom rides to come to halt from the media including vendor
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times who said the riders would be overreaching of the continued their campaign to mississippi. in the mainstream civil rights organizations like the entel lil' -- naacp and urban league had never been happy about this ticket to the streets non-violent direct action approach these kids like rip were increasing. it made them nervous. they must refer to work in the courts. so they were not keen on the rides either and of course the kennedy administration was desperate to get pictures of the burning buses and bloody teaching riders of the front pages of newspapers, not only in this country but around the world. the images, anniston or everywhere. kennedy was new in office. he was about to go to vienna to have his first meeting with khrushchev, and these are not pictures -- this is what the image of the united states that he needed to be projecting.
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he wanted to be projected at this point in the cold war. the riders, however, were undeterred, and they said we are going to continue on our way. so, bobby kennedy got on the phone with mississippi officials and said what ever happens you can't let them get beaten up any more. and mississippi said we will protect them, but we might do that by and arresting them all. so, may 24, 27 riders, including rip, left montgomery onto buses and in to jackson, and aware of the backroom deal that had been cut between bobby kennedy and mississippi. all of them worried about what would happen once they arrived in jackson many of them felt they might die or along the way. instead of their arrival for the first time in four stops there was no mog, just a lot of policemen who quickly and quietly arrested the riders and took them off to jail. share is the front page story
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from the clarion ledger in jackson the day after the riders arrived. 27 mixers, that's what one of the names of the riders had, they were also -- the newspaper in the government agencies also like to call them the so-called freedom riders. so we see arrests made quietly, trial set for friday. here is a blowup of the page. you see the second paragraph they were charged with refusing to obey an officer in committing a breach of peace, which i think is a wonderful charge. a breach of peace is a pretty simple misdemeanor charge. it's not a felony. it has no racial component. cities in the south of to use this charge to arrest people because it allowed them no recourse to go to court and appeal on any kind of constitutional basis. you'll see no attempt has been made to post bond which has been set at $500 on each charge.
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i think once everybody had been quietly arrested and safely and arrested mississippi and the kennedy administration fought okay we solved the problem. nothing bad happened like in alabama. we are kind of getting on top of the situation. but in fact they made a big mistake. and the riders realized that come and they abandoned their original destination of new orleans and instead adopted the strategy of jail no bail. they refused to pay the fines to bailout. unstated the invited new riders to come to jackson and get arrested and fill the jails to overflowing. this was the gondhi attacked of using the system against itself. forcing the nation and the federal government to confront and address segregation. so you can see with this looked like a few days later may 28. again, from the clarion ledger, mix riders a metaksa jackson. and people from all over the
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country responded to this call and an ad hoc freedom rider organization quickly sprung up to send riders and digoxin ps3 primary staging cities. in addition to montgomery, the orleans, and nashville. and riders would come from all over the country together in these three cities, maybe get a day or two of training and non-violence, what to do if you're attacked, what to do if you're a arrested and then they would be assembled into a slightly larger groups of five or eight or tame and sent into jackson on buses and here's a picture of the greyhound station still standing. it's an architect's office today and the trail station has been torn down. but the train station is still standing. and the 113 days before may 24 and september 13 when the last group of riders was arrested, 328 people again blacks and whites, men and women came from
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all parts of the country a riding by jackson by bus, train and airplane the riders desegregated stations by entering the wrong waiting room, sitting at the rall lunch counter, using the wrong restroom and they were quickly arrested like the original riders had been. within three weeks of the first arrest the riders filled jackson's to jails to overflowing and thereby earned themselves six weeks of state in maximum security cells in parchment, the states and some still tough prison farm about three hours north of jackson. and here they were basically under total lock down. they were let out of their cells baby twice, three times a week for a shower and that was it. after parchment, however, came success. in september the interstate commerce commission issued a new regulation mandating the end to segregation by bus and train stations.
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so the freedom rides were focused on this particular issue and they won pretty much right away. but the rides i think were successful in other ways as well. they were, you know it was one more step in ending and the overcoming a 300 year pattern of violence using terror to keep blacks, quote on quote, in their place. and showed the movement of these gondhi in tactics, jeal mobile, could be put to use in future campaigns in the early 60's. what was it like when the riders got to jackson? here's some local tv news footage of rip's boss are writing the first day in jackson. this is the station. there's no sound except right at the end. you will see national guard's getting off first.
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and there is james farmer, and here comes john lewis and you can see the bandage on his head and that's rip right behind him. and then you're going to see another group of riders inside of a station getting arrested. >> you're under arrest. >> and this is the group that got arrested moments later in the back of the wagon. six riders, three black, three white. i interviewed price, the fellow on the right, and i asked him did you get segregated by side in the wagon and he said he didn't remember. but once all the riders got to jail they are segregated by race and sex, so the white man, black man, white women and black women
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and you never saw anybody after that once you got into the system you didn't necessarily see your fellow riders again for your group. again a little about the mog shots, which is the location for this book. we now have this incredible visual history of the mississippi rides. the mug shot of every freedom rider arrested in jackson in 1961 and they come from the most unlikely source possible. the mississippi state commission was created in 1956 and charged with doing any and all things necessary to preserve segregation. the sovereignty commission hired a former fbi agent who worked for jay edgar hoover and he set up a network of informants across the state to spy on anyone they suspected of subversive activities. when the freedom riders sit down the commission collected their mug shots and filed them away. many years later in 1998, the
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lawsuit forced the government, the state government to release the commission files including dimond shots to the public. i first came across the mug shots in 2004. as soon as i saw them i knew they were a major addition to the historical record. here is a picture of the emergency civil rights movement plunging forward adeptly taking its strategy of non-violent direct action to the national stage. here are the faces of the student power 60's. here's his story told that the individual level. the portraits and mug shots are always compelling and frequently stellar. i was captivated by these images and i wanted to, you know, bring them to a wider audience. i wanted to find the riders today to make new portraits and hear their stories. i also wanted to learn leone history. i grew up in a rigidly segregated small town in
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mississippi. i was four in 1961, so i wasn't aware of the freedom rides at the time, and even as i grew older and the issue of race was every day aspect of life i.e. at remained unaware of the campaigns the state's black citizens were waging to secure their freedom. and the last five years i've located photographed just over 100 rides, about eight of whom are featured in the book. i want to show you just a couple of the mug shots and portraits and then we will get rip up your. this is helen singleton, even before i located her, and she lives in los angeles, i was totally captivated by this particular mug shot. here is a young woman, young black woman who is a college student just arrested in jackson, mississippi in 1961.
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this is probably not a good place for her to be and the expression on her face is one of i think confidence, a sense of i know what i'm doing, i am doing what i should be doing. and of course when i met her and told her all of this she said eric i was just scared. [laughter] but not having ever done anything that brief in my life, the only thing i can suppose is you can be scared and know you're doing the right thing at the same time. she still has the great expression today. she still lives in los angeles. she was originally from philadelphia, pennsylvania along with her husband, bob singleton and she was a student at santa monica city college and he was at ucla in 1961 and they both came on the rides. and i love her picture so much that this is what we used on the
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cover. i think it'd just epitomizes the value of the smog shots today. we didn't want bob to be upset and feel like he had been left out so we used his mug shot on the inside cover of the book. and, you know, it, too -- they are all remarkable images but it, too, is another kind of great american portrait. bob became a university professor. he teaches at loyola. helen worked at is an artist for a while and art administrator, consulting for another organization like the los angeles county museum of art and other states organizations in california. here's another one of my favorite images. and this is another good tennessee state student, katherine brooks. she was originally from
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birmingham. but she was a student here in the early 60's, unlike rip, very much involved in the sit-in movement. non-violence is the key to the civil rights movement and most of the people who were involved understood the idea and readily embraced it even though for some people it was a struggle. and catherine like several of the black southern freedom riders i interviewed talked about getting her start as a protester almost instinctively as a child and just sort of acting out and just sort of natural and i want to read an excerpt from our interview in the book. it might have been around fifth or sixth grade when i began to protest the way things were. i refuse to step aside walking downtown when a white person would approach me.
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in high school we've road city buses to school and one day my friends and i through the colored sign out the window. leader during the sittings and picketing in 1960 and now of course we are in asheville it was tough to have someone push you and not pushback. i was christian and everything but i was kind of use to pushing back, ustinov stepping to the side. and i think that's pretty clear in a mug shot. i could remember in one of the demonstrations a white fellow with a cigarette coming toward my face. i was just standing there and i was not going to move. my girlfriend was behind me. she told me later she was going to put her hand in front of my face. the guy didn't put the cigarette out on me but in my mind i had planned i was going to stand there. catherine after the light came back and a graduate from tennessee state. she lived in chicago and detroit for a while, raising money for c.o.r.e. and snicc.
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lived in the bahamas for a while and then returned to birmingham where she worked for mary kay for a while as a district manager and today she works as a full-time teacher in the public schools in birmingham. many of the riders went on to become teachers of the elementary, high school and college level. i just want to give you -- finish up with a sense of the range of people who came to mississippi. they came from all over geographically from the northeast, the midwest, the west coast in the south. there were people like steven green who was a young pretty student at bennington with no inclination toward politics until he kind of got slapped into reality and came down and joined the right and said he realized how shelter of a life he had been living. and like a lot of people deride changed his life.
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he went on to become, to work basically for the u.n. for much of his career in hot spots are on the world. it also included people pretty political from the get go like bologna who was in israel and a radical christian community in georgia and had mom violin training from c.o.r.e. and set up in integration burba the university of minneapolis minnesota and minneapolis. and he led a group down -- led the group down to jackson. he still lives in minneapolis today and is very much involved in politics. one of his good friends who came along with him was david morton, who in this photograph like a nice, clean-cut american kid. but this is what he looked like then as well as now. he shaved his beard to come south so they wouldn't accuse him of being a happy, which is what he was. he was a poet and musician and
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had some relationship with the dublin in the early days, for those of you in to your dillonology this is one of the original freedom riders who left washington and the original group as well as bob fielder from pittsburgh in new york and today represents san diego and the house of representatives. there were three, at least three people who had survived, riders who survived the holocaust and world war ii as children. alex is get as a young child with his family out of vienna before the war started and was talked about what his father had been through and his family had been through as one of the motivations for the one busbee eight. he lives in oakland today. i sort of talk about the use of
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the riders. 75% of them were under the age of 30. almost half were between 18 to 21. it was very much a kids movement in one sense that there were also adults who came and got arrested in jackson. married jorgensen came from california with her husband, russell. and she got arrested at the airport. they were about, you know, 45, really old. [laughter] in 1961, and they are still going strong and living in california today. and then at the other end of the spectrum a lot of the -- there are about 40 riders who, from jackson and mississippi, they tended not to be college students but high school students. they're really was no movement in mississippi before the freedom speed. and i think that rip might talk about that, too. but some of his colleagues in the movement stephen jackson after the bail out and started
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recruiting local riders to read started recruiting local people to become riders. and this is watkins, 13-years-old when he was arrested and he's not off one might from his mom's house to go to a mass meeting and later that night he got arrested. he didn't think quite understand what he was doing at the time, but he soon figured it out and went on to have an extensive career in the movement as a high school student in jackson and was arrested many times i think more than 50 and beaten several times. he still lives in jackson today and owns a small grocery downtown. there's a lot more information about the right, the breach of peace .com, a lot of information i collected and it didn't have room for in the book. so if you're interested in more, you can check that out. and now i would like to get rip up here.
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as nancy said he is a native nashville. 1960 and 61 he was a student at tennessee state and very involved in the sit-in movement in 1960. then obviously keeping an eye on the freedom rides with their colleague, john lewis. as soon as the attack started in birmingham and anniston, he was involved in helping the office and sending in replacement riders into birmingham and then once they made their way to montgomery he sort of felt the call one day and got in the car himself and went to montgomery and rode on the second bus into jackson. after his six weeks in parchment came back to nashville, spend some time training new riders still coming to nashville to go to jackson and get arrested. he later lived in new york for about a year working with c.o.r.e. and giving a low of
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speaking, cocktail parties and other kind of meetings, people's homes, spreading the word of what was happening in the self and raising money this was something that a lot of freedom riders did in the six months or a year or two years after the speed. representative lived in los angeles working as a professional musician for much of the 70's he's lived in st. louis and been back in nashville working as a truck driver. he's mostly retired today but still active musically, worked the parole cameron community choir and other things like that so please welcomed stage rip patton. [applause] >> thank you very much. it is good to be here when you think about the 60's and 61 you kind of wonder what's going to happen. what is your life going to be
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like. eric mentioned the fact that the train stations and bus terminals were segregated. he didn't say anything about airports. here in nashville as clca southern christian leadership conference under the direction of one of the ministers here they would meet at the airport. they could go in the front door at the very fields, those of you from nashville old enough to remember the field which is at the same place where the airport is now where he would go to the they would meet at the airport. they could open the front door, they could use any restroom they wanted to. and so they would have their meetings at the airport. we started out here in nashville under the guidance of the reverend james lawson. he had been in india three years studying the methods of gandhi and he brought those back to
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nashville and started workshops in nashville in the churches and a couple of schools. fisk university and clark memorial was the home base. and we would go to these workshops and you hear about them on campus. there is as the eye and said there's a new game in town. come and see what it's all about. so we would go to the workshops and with the workshops were wrong about was we would learn how to set at a school because we were getting ready to have our first demonstrations and national. we would sit at the store and somebody behind you had to play the part of the heckler. he would actually get hit in these workshops. it was real life. it wasn't like tapping you on the head. you would get hit so then you would know what it felt like if somebody would come up behind you, and even the head or pull you off alone to counter. if you've seen any of the
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documentary is of national thing you know what i'm talking about. and if you haven't and i advise you to go to the downtown library, the second floor in the national room. and you can sit there all day, not only see what happened in nashville but in other parts of the country. and as you saw national as a hub, one of the places the freedom riders would come from the north and the northeast for their training was. now, why training? you don't just get on a bus and light. you need to know what to do and what not to do. we had dos and don'ts. when we had a sitting here and we would go to the lunch counter there would be one person that was the captain of the team if somebody spoke to you you would not do a thing.
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the captain would walk up to them and take questions from them because usually wanted to know why you were doing this and of course the whites sitting with the blacks freely took the brunt of it because the whites in that time couldn't understand why would you be with fees' nei close as we were called then when you know you can come to the lunch counter and eat any time why would you want to integrate the lunch counters? of course it made a difference when by and spoke to him on the courthouse steps and asked do you think it's right people can come downtown, spend their money and not be able to eat at a lunch counter as a man? she put that to him as a man but not as the major and he said i have to answer this as a man and not the mayor and he said i don't think it's right. shortly after that, the lunch
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counters were desegregated. may 14th, when the buses were attacked in alabama and birmingham we just completed opening of the features here in downtown asheville. we had marches in front of the theaters to get them to segregate or we could go in the front door, and use the -- buy popcorn and go in the restrooms. we used to have to go down the alley and go up i don't know how many flights of stairs to the balcony they would be able to see the movies and where the library is located now was the theater. my mother always said that i had a white neighbor, young man, when i moved into the neighborhood. we were the only to young males in the neighborhood, and he was white, i was black. we played. we didn't know anything about segregation. we played together.
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and his sister took him to the theater one time and he saw this great movie and came back and was all excited and he told me about this movie. he said you've got to go. so i told my mother i said i'd want you to take me to the theater. i was very young. and he was very exciting about going in the front door and all the lights glittering and the smell of popcorn and hot dogs. you could smell before you would even get into the place. and as we walked down the street like could see the movie and all flights he was talking about and i was getting excited, and i headed for the front door. and she told me know we can't go in that way. and i said but my friend told me about the exciting things that happened and she says from that day is when it hit me about
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segregation, and i've been working ever since to end segregation. may 14th, mother's day, one of the things you have to understand the buses that cannot of washington, d.c. were not just freedom riders on the bus. there were regular passengers and as you heard in anniston, alabama when the bus was burned there were regular passengers on the bus. also in birmingham there were regular passengers on that bus. now, how did the clan and police know that the freedom riders were on that bus and who they work? well, one of the things c.o.r.e. had to do is give names and identification to the fbi in washington d.c.. give their destinations come all of the stops they were going to make and their intent when they made the stops. so it filtered down through all these cities where they made their stops. but as you get further south you
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get into the klan country and there were plans were policemen and fbi and so they knew and they would tell their friends we've got eight or ten or 11 freedom riders coming and this is what they look like and this is who they are so they knew it, exactly who to attack. that was a bittersweet day for natural, may 14, mother's day. john lewis was on the original freedom ride, but he signed up for the peace corps, and somewhere between rock hill and anniston he had to get off the freedom ride. she came back to nashville so he was in nashville when all this happened. john symbol -- seigenthaler was there when the attacks on birmingham it was his job to see
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that they were able to get out of birmingham and to new orleans because it was too dangerous with what had happened the burning of the bus and the freedom riders in birmingham. so, john thune seeking seigenthaler make sure the original freedom riders were able to get to new orleans to safety. it was at that time when national students said we are going to continue the freedom ride. jim farmer called to buy yen and said it's too dangerous. we are going to end right here. it's too dangerous for national to join in, so just forget about it. somehow bobby kennedy got the word that national was going to take part in the freedom ride and he called john seigenthaler and said would you mind colin diane negative? first of all he said to in the hell is ghanian? who is this donner mandel i'm hearing about?
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[laughter] you need to talk to that young lady and tell her that it is too dangerous. as you have heard, our president was on his way to a conference with nikita khrushchev and they didn't want all this in the news. they didn't want it on the front pages of the paper. what we decided here in nashville to continue the freedom ride, knowing that we might be killed. we had a meeting of that sunday night. we had i don't know how many volunteers. everyone me out there will, they wrote letters, they made phone calls and said we are going to continue the freedom ride, but we know that we may not come back. so that's why we are sending letters and making out our will. 11 people were designated to go on the first flight from nashville to birmingham. one young lady missed the bus. that was a white female i think she was from scout.
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on that bus there was one white male from fiscal fisk, and three white females, and the rest were black male and female. from tennessee state and a couple of fiske students. the white female missed the bus. she got a right to catch the bus. she became an observer instead of a freedom ride. her job was to just sit there as a passenger and report back as to what happened. she was not to be arrested. but her tickets read pulaski, birmingham, montgomery, a jackson, new orleans. and that is how they knew who the freedom riders was because of your ticket because if you were going to new orleans you wouldn't go to jackson,
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mississippi. he would go through mobile, alabama over to new orleans. on the rear front seat of that bus was one white male, jim, and one black male sitting right behind the driver. no problems here in nashville. no problem in tennessee but as soon as they crossed into alabama that was a different story. the bus was stopped on the north side of birmingham. the two were arrested. then the bus went on. as i said they had regular passengers. they went on to birmingham, got to the station and the police said i want everybody to stay on the bus. we are going to check your tickets. and if you had a ticket that had all those cities the made you stay on. i'm going to skip a little bit. that was on a tuesday i believe. on that late friday night, cotter said i'm going to take you back to fix where he
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belonged. they got in a limousine and came back as far as the tennessee alabama state line at ardmore about one or 2:00 in the morning. they found a phone, called national and for a station wagon, drove back and picked them up and took them back to birmingham. now you've heard that one of the things we did here in nashville in the sedans, which was a very unique, flexible if the store had 20 seats at the counter we would send a group of 20 people, 21 with captain. the very first day of the said in they were arrested so the national police said o.k. it's over. this is nothing. well, what they didn't know is there were 20 more at the back of the store waiting to go in the back door to fill the seats. and the object here in nashville
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was to fill the jails which we did. john lewis had never been arrested before. he said that was like going to heaven. [laughter] he had never been arrested. he knew he was part of the movement when he was arrested in nashville. but anyway, when conner brought these people from birmingham up to ardmore, he and kathryn, you saw the picture of catherine, started talking about western movies. and the way it ended as she was getting out of the car she asked about the movie negative noon and he said yes i'm very familiar. so she said we will see you at high noon. we will be back in birmingham. she didn't know how she was going to come back that she had faith. they would pick them up and we had already sent the second wave, so when the first wave got back to birmingham the numbers had increased 23 riders. when they went into couldn't
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find a driver and bobby kennedy said call mr. greyhound, see if he can drive the bus. because they couldn't get a driver to drive from montgomery to -- i'm sorry, from montgomery to birmingham. when the bus pulled in as you already heard the streets were clear. it was like midnight in the daytime. wasn't anybody on the streets. but the whites of the community were behind buildings with their change and crates and whatever you put in your hand to baseball bats and they had their kids with them. john lewis said that's really something. it surprised him they had their kids with them because i guess they wanted their kids what they were going to do and what was going on. the reporters got off the bus first. and the reporters were the first
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ones that people attacked because they had the cameras and a single lens reflex and tv cameras and they didn't want this on tv sunday attacked reporters first. and this gave the riders the chance to get their wits and see what was going on. some of the riders ran. there was a 15-foot drop from the ground down into a parking lot. i know that freddie leonard, bernard and a few others jumped the case and 15 feet down. they read through the federal building, which they didn't know it was a federal building, and in the basement of the federal building was the post office. and when they ran through the post office basic mail started flying everywhere they were trying to get away. of course as you know john lewis and jim were attacked. that's one of the pictures you
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see quite often. the white females, sue herman and wilder were on the bus. john seigenthaler was there but he was trying to rescue the two ladies. they didn't know who he was so she said, get in this car and one of the ladies said we don't know who you are and we are not going with you because we are supposed to be with this group. they were dedicated and determined to stay with that group. we don't know what happened to them because he finally got them into the car and was hit over the head with a pipe and he was out for he said half an hour, and we were talking about earlier. we would love to find out where is sue herman and xu wilbur to hear their stories as to what happened to them after seigenthaler was knocked out. whether they got away in the car or what. we don't know.
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we were arrested in jackson mississippi. i finally went down with a fairer way to arrest in jackson mississippi. we had the national guard from montgomery all the way to jackson, the alabama national guard on the bus with baronets. then we got to the line and they changed the mississippi guards. we were taken to jail. i managed to get inside the bus terminal and sit at the counter with my friend, john lewis, and then we were arrested which meant time in the city jail, county jail and then some of us were taken to the county farm where we spent a couple of days from back to the county jail and then transferred to department penitentiary and spent time in parchment. they had a way of trying to break you down. one of the things the movement it was a lot of singing. we would sing all the time. and they got tired of the singing so they would do things to try to stop loss from singing. one, the top mattress is a way and we slept on the steel
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blanka. they would take our toothbrushes away or give us food that had laxative and at and cut the water off for two or three days and turn the heat on in the summertime to make it miserable. but we made it through. and after i was released and came back to nashville as you heard i worked here in national and c.o.r.e. for your with jim former and came back to national again and continued working and then moved away. so if we were entertaining questions i believe? >> just a very few. what i would like to say is if you really want to talk to these gentlemen, up to the book signing because i know there will be ample opportunity to do that. but let's have one or two quick questions. >> i wanted to ask real quick how you were greeted in angola, or and sorghum parchment. were you viewed as heroes or
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were you resented? >> we were presented. to give you a little graphic here we were already searched when we were first arrested. we were given our clothes back but we went to parchment we had to strip, male and female, down to nothing. and if you can think of every cavity in your body it was searched to make sure you didn't take anything in. >> but what about the inmates? >> we never saw the inmates. we were in maximum security. the only people use all were the people you were arrested with. we were in a six by eight cell, to people in a cell and they were side by side. the only time i ever saw the person on either side was when we had a chance to take a shower. >> they kept them isolated from the general inmate population. although they did threaten -- they didn't do any work in the
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farm. they did threaten them every now and then to try to get them to stop singing or doing whatever and they would see if you don't quite you're going to be out there chopping cotton. of course rip dewitt dave mant but there were freedom riders from elsewhere who were like we have no idea what that meant. one more. >> of the total number of the freedom riders how many were arrested? >> all of them in jackson. there were obviously riders who participated from washington into alabama. they were not always arrested. and then there were several other rides to read in florida and texas and other places around the south all in all about 400 riders total that some of the jackson was about 328 and they were all uniformly arrested. >> national hagel largest contingency of writers. tennessee state had 23 and fists, vanderbilt, american
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baptist, we have i think over 40 riders and so was the largest percentage of riders came from national tennessee. >> one more. >> did you get the sense you were making history giving all of this? >> no. >> one more or is that it? that's it. come talk to us upstairs. thank you. [applause] nicely done, good job. [inaudible conversations] >> eric etheridge is former editor for rolling stone, harper's and new york observer. this event was pof the 2009 southern festival of books. for more information, visit senators are continuing their debate on the health care
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bill through the weekend. our regular booktv schedule will be pre-empted during these rare senate sessions. with booktv programs resuming after the debate. watch the senate debate on health care live, gavel-to-gavel on c-span2. the only network with the full debate unedited and commercial free to be read the senate and house version bill plus watched a video on demand, go online to c-span's healthcare hub. we are here with win bradley author of a different life growing up disabled and other adventures. quinn, what is vcff?
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>> it is the second most common symptom and affects about to hundred 50,000 people across the country. >> now you have vcsf, eckert? >> yes, it is a genetic syndromes and it is not hereditary. it is mostly just a fluke. i think sometimes it can be hereditary. but mine was just a fluke, and i had heart surgery at three months old, and the doctors told me that i was retarded, that i would never be able to make any friends, go to school, but vcsf also has -- you have abnormal facial features, and i have a very mild case of it, so you can't really notice, but a lot of kids, they look like old people with young faces and they have a bad case of scoliosis,
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which is one of the side effects of it. but i just happen to be very lucky about it. >> in the book you talk about growing up with this learning disability. how did affect your young life? >> i didn't really -- i guess i was diagnosed at a very young age when i was about 3-years-old and i was actually one of the first people at the school of washington, d.c., which is a school for people with learning disabilities. and i didn't really know what the -- what was wrong with me on july was the ninth grade, and i was there for 12 years. and i left my it agreed to go to school for four years in a special boarding school for people with learning disabilities. and so i really didn't know how it was affecting me on july was about 20-years-old or 16-years-old. >> from your viewpoint now has a young adult, how has the care of
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learning disabilities -- learning disabled children change? >> the care has changed tremendously. the learning disabilities now, it's amazing. i mean, people go around. you can ask anybody but dyslexia is and they have a little idea, and that is much more than they had 30 years ago when it just came out. and vcss nobody really knows about it but dyslexia is much more common than everybody thinks. and there are 15 million people in america with learning disabilities. >> besides being an author you are a filmmaker and from a website called friends of quinn can you tell me about that? >> it is a social community all aware people with a learning disabilities can go talk


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