Simply Superior, April 8, 2022

Air Date:
Heard On Simply Superior
Members of the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation – the first Freedom Riders, who challenged segregation on Southern buses and trains

This week on “Simply Superior,” we honor the 75th anniversary of the journey that helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement. On April 9-23, 1947, a courageous group of interracial activists boarded Southern buses and trains to challenge local segregation laws – 14 years before the more famous Freedom Rides of 1961. They sought to force the Southern states to abide by a Supreme Court ruling the year before that had outlawed segregation in interstate transportation – only to be met with arrests, a physical attack, and ultimately, 30 days on a chain gang.

Their story has become the lifework of show host Robin Washington, who nearly 50 years later brought the survivors together for a reunion retracing their trip filmed for the acclaimed PBS television documentary, “You Don’t Have to Ride Jim Crow!” The primary source footage from that program has now been re-edited and re-narrated in this new adaptation for radio.

Also, could Broadway be the next stop? Twin Ports song and stage favorites Gabe Mayfield, Dante Pirtle and Ryan Frane presented a black-box theatrical performance of three show tunes created from the documentary score several years ago, reimagining the story as historical and inspiring entertainment.

Episode Credits

  • Robin Washington Host
  • Robin Washington Producer
  • Ezra Wall Producer

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