Freedom Riders with Filmmaker Stanley Nelson

America in 1961: in their fight against racial segregation, more than 400 black and white Americans boarded buses and trains traveling together through the Deep South. They risked violence, imprisonment and even their lives, just for traveling together. They were the Freedom Riders, volunteers from 40 states, mostly students, who received training in nonviolence tactics before setting off on their quest to expand civil rights. The Supreme Court had declared segregated facilities and interstate buses and trains unconstitutional in 1960, but in practice seats on buses and trains, waiting rooms, bathrooms and even water fountains were still designated by race in the South. The Freedom Riders set out to challenge the gap between the law and the reality on the ground.

To learn more about Freedom Riders and their breathtaking resolve, please join our talk with award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, author of the ‘Freedom Riders’ documentary, featuring testimonies from the Riders, government officials, and journalists:

Freedom Riders with Stanley Nelson
Thursday October 22 at 16:00
To join, please register here:

Stanley Nelson is today’s leading documentarian of the African-American experience. His films combine compelling narratives with rich historical detail to illuminate the under-explored American past. A MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Nelson has received numerous honors over the course of his career, including five Primetime Emmy Awards for his films, as well as lifetime achievement awards from the Emmys, the Peabodys, and IDA. In 2013, Nelson received the National Medal in the Humanities from President Barack Obama. His latest film, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, premiered at Sundance in January 2019.

In 2000, Mr. Nelson, along with his wife, Marcia A. Smith, founded Firelight Media, a non-profit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes, and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to telling underrepresented stories.

This event is part of U.S. Embassy’s series devoted to the most impactful moments in the history of USA leading to the rise of the most powerful movements for human rights.