Summer is finally here! It’s 1961, and your big brother is home from college. But he’s going to Mississippi to join a group called the Freedom Riders.
He explains that black and white people have been riding buses together to fight discrimination against African Americans. Discrimination is unfair treatment of people because of their race, gender, religion, or nationality.
More and more African Americans in the 1950s had stood up to this unfair treatment. They tried to end segregation, the separation of blacks and whites in public places like restaurants. The Freedom Riders and other groups objected to segregation laws by using nonviolence, or peaceful protests. But they were still attacked sometimes by people who disagreed with them. Martin Luther King Jr. became a leader of the civil rights movement. He gave speeches and led peaceful marches. In 1963, about 250,000 people came to the nation’s capital for the March on Washington. There, King spoke about his dream of the future. He saw a world where people wouldn’t be judged by their skin color.