Skip to Main Navigation | Skip to Content

University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Screening and Discussion of "Freedom Riders" Planned for Feb. 22

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Feb. 7, 2014) – The University of Central Missouri Department of History and Anthropology and the UCM Center for Africana Studies, in partnership with the National Archives at Kansas City and the Black Archives of Mid-America, will host a screening and discussion of the film Freedom Riders at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Black Archives, 1722 East 17th Terr., Kansas City, Mo.

Freedom Riders poster

Attracting a diverse group of volunteers—black and white, young and old, male and female, secular and religious, northern and southern—the Freedom Rides of 1961 took the civil rights struggle out of the courtroom and onto the streets of the Jim Crow South. Freedom Riders tells the terrifying, moving, and suspenseful story of a time when white and black volunteers riding a bus into the Deep South risked being jailed, beaten, or killed, as white local and state authorities ignored or encouraged violent attacks.

The film includes previously unseen amateur 8-mm footage of the burning bus on which some Freedom Riders were temporarily trapped. The film was taken by a local twelve-year-old and held as evidence since 1961 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Following the screening a panel of speakers will answer questions related to the film topic. Speakers include Sharon Sanders Brooks, former Kansas City councilwoman and Missouri state representative; Bonita Butner, associate professor and division chair, Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and a former director of UCM Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs; Michael Patton, retired educator, Kansas City, Missouri School District; Gregory Streich, UCM professor of political and author of Justice Beyond ‘Just Us’: Dilemmas of Time, Place, and Difference in American Politics and Urban Social Capital: Civil Society and City Life.

Freedom Riders is a part of the Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle documentary film set. It is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Visit for more information, or contact Delia Gillis, UCM project director, at

Reservations may be made online or by calling 816-221-1600. Local residents who participated in the Freedom Rides and other civil rights activists will be recognized at the event. Light refreshments will be provided.