For Immediate Release
May 4, 2018
Media Contact:
Jacqulyn Kirkland, 334-230-2690

Freedom Rides 57th Anniversary
Book Signing and Presentation*
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Freedom Rides Museum, Montgomery, Alabama
*Event is free with paid admission to museum
Co-sponsored by the Alabama Historical Commission, the Friends of the Freedom Rides Museum, and the Black Heritage Council of the Alabama Historical Commission

The Freedom Rides Museum, a historic property operated by the Alabama Historical Commission, will commemorate the 57th anniversary of the Freedom Rides on Saturday, May 19. Come out to meet Freedom Rider Dr. Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr., who was a student at Tennessee State University in 1961 and one of the members of the Nashville Student Movement that came to Alabama as a part of the Freedom Rides. He would later be arrested and spend time in Parchman Prison in Mississippi. He was also expelled from TSU for his participation in the Freedom Rides.

There will also be a book signing with award-winning author B.J. Hollars. The author will discuss his new book, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders, which will be available for purchase at the museum. Dr. Patton is included in the book and will also be available to sign copies of the book during the event.

Participants are encouraged to register for this event at  

About the Book: Revisits the inspiring and heroic stories of the Freedom Riders, through their own words.
In May 1961, despite multiple Supreme Court rulings, segregation remained alive and well within the system of interstate travel. All across the American South, interstate buses as well as their travel facilities were divided racially. This blatant disregard for law and morality spurred the Congress of Racial Equality to send thirteen individuals—seven black, six white—on a harrowing bus trip throughout the South as a sign of protest.
While much has been written on the Freedom Rides, far less has been published about the individual riders. Join award-winning author B. J. Hollars as he sets out on his own journey to meet them, retracing the historic route and learning the stories of as many surviving riders as he could. The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders offers an intimate look into the lives and legacies of the riders. Throughout the book these civil rights veterans’ poignant, personal stories offer timely insights into America’s racial past and hopeful future.
About the Author: B. J. Hollars is an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is the author of several books including Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America; Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa; Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct Birds; From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us about Life, Death, and Being Human, among others.

Review: “From the opening interview with Jim Zwerg all the way to the end, I felt as if I were getting to know these historical figures better than I had in the past, and I have interviewed several of them myself.”
—Frye Gaillard, author of Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement that Changed America and Alabama's Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom

Read more at,6838.aspx

For more information contact The Freedom Rides Museum at or 334-414-8647.

Working with concerned citizens, The Alabama Historical Commission saved the Greyhound Bus Station from demolition in the mid-1990s. The Museum is located at the intersection of S. Court St. and Adams Avenue in downtown Montgomery. An award-winning exhibit on the building's exterior traces the Freedom Riders' history. It uses words and images of the Freedom Riders, those who supported them, and those who opposed them. Interior exhibits highlight additional information on the Freedom Riders and the way in which buildings were designed for racial segregation. Today, the Alabama Historical Commission operates this significant site.

Find the Freedom Rides Museum on Facebook or visit

About the Alabama Historical Commission
Located in historic downtown Montgomery at 468 S. Perry Street, the Alabama Historical Commission is the state historic preservation agency for Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission to protect, preserve and interpret Alabama’s historic places. AHC works to accomplish its mission through two fields of endeavor: Preservation and promotion of state-owned historic sites as public attractions; and, statewide programs to assist people, groups, towns, and cities with local preservation activities. For a complete list of programs and properties owned and operated by the AHC, hours of operation, and admission fees please visit 


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