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Civil Rights Activist To Speak At St. Cloud State University

10/04/2012 - 11:15 AM

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Civil Rights Activist To Speak At St. Cloud State University
Patton took part in a freedom ride when he was 21-year-old.

Civil Rights activist Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr. is set to speak at St. Cloud State University on Wednesday Oct. 10th. Patton will share his freedom ride experience and explore institutionalized and culturally-accepted racism. The event is part of St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs 2012 Fall Colloquium

Patton took part in a freedom ride to Jackson, Miss. when he was 21-year-old. He was on of 14 Tennessee State University students who were expelled for participating in the rides. Patton was also arrested during the ride and stayed in Mississippi’s Parchman State Prison Farm.

The Freedom Rides took place in 1961 and were intended to test the Supreme Court’s ruling that declared segregation on interstate buses and rail stations unconstitutional. Passengers on the buses were white and black. The first Freedom Ride began in Washington DC and traveled south through Alabama, New Orleans, and Mississippi.

The riders were met with excessive hostility. Riders were attacked and arrested on several occasions. The extreme violence prompted a national outcry, which put pressure on President John F. Kennedy to end the violence.

Explore the Freedom Rides will be at 2 p.m. in the Atwood Memorial Center Ballroom and is free and open to the public.

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