Welcome to Freedom Bound 2011

Best shot of all -- Ray's solidarity flame!

This is a chronicle of my adventures on the Constitutional Law and the Civil Rights Movement field trip. This is the second class I’ve taken about southern politics and one thing is for sure, if you want to understand southern politics, you have to understand the Civil Rights Movement. This is one option to fulfill the history requirement for the USF St. Petersburg’s Florida Studies Graduate program in which I am enrolled. I guess one of the first things anyone does on a field trip is get to know your fellow riders. So here are three other Florida Studies Grad students getting ready to board the flight to Nashville. Nashville is our first stop on the field trip and is the epicenter of the 1961 Freedom Riders Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Students from several colleges, but mostly Tennessee State, picked up the movement when CORE — the organization who organized the initial May rides, thought it was too dangerous and was about to abandon the cause. In fact, CORE, SNCC, NAACP, SCLC, all remained very active in the movement. This year is the 50th Anniversary and USF Florida Studies Professor Ray Arsenault, who wrote The Freedom Riders, is recognized as an authority on the movement. In May, Ray was interviewed by NPR, Terry Gross (Fresh Air) and Oprah, to name just a few, to commemorate the anniversary. Ray is leading 15 USF students on this tour. The tour is co-organized by the Stetson University College of Law Professor Robert Bickel. He is guiding 21 Stetson Students.

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Here we are --ready to board the plane to become outside agitators.

Dara Vance, Arielle Stevenson, and Theresa Collington are already blogging, or is that email

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Jon Tallon (L) and Daun Fletcher are veterans of the tours. Both are grad assistants

in the Florida Studies Program.

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