My Review of Twelve Days in May (Freedom Ride 1961)

Using a straightforward, present-tense narrative and a diary-style format… this is a well-researched and accessible account of a precedent-setting protest.” – Publishers Weekly

I met Larry Dane Brimner in the mid 90s at children’s book circles in the National Council of teachers of English and the International Literacy Association. Following his work has given me a better perspective on my own self-identification and affinity group: African Americans, and our deep and complex history. Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 does a wonderful job of encapsulating the highlights, drama and significance of those violent, turbulent days.

 On May 4, 1961, a group of thirteen black and white civil rights activists launched the Freedom Ride, aiming to challenge the practice of segregation on buses and at bus terminal facilities in the South. The Ride would last twelve days. Despite the fact that segregation on buses crossing state lines was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1946, and segregation in interstate transportation facilities was ruled unconstitutional in 1960, these rulings were routinely ignored in the South. The thirteen Freedom Riders intended to test the laws and draw attention to the lack of enforcement with their peaceful protest.

Read the full story on Daily Kos or on Young People’s Pavilion.

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