Reverse Freedom Rides

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Reverse freedom rides were attempts in 1962 by Southern segregationists to send African Americans from cities such as New Orleans to New York City, Chicago, and Cleveland by bus.[1][2] They were given free bus tickets, and were told that there were high paying jobs waiting for them. They were given promissory notes that were worthless when they arrived. Some of those arriving were able to find work; most could not.[3]


For example, in 1962 Louis and Dorothy Boyd were sent from New Orleans to New York City. They arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City after a forty-three-hour ride with their eight children. There was no job waiting for them, and the check they were given was valueless.[4][5] Boyd was hired by Harvey Jerome Brudner.[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Robertson, Nan (June 13, 1962). "120 Negroes Took 'Free Ride' North. White Council Had Hoped to Send 1,000 City Got 32.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-15. The plan of the segregationist White Citizens Councils to ship at least 1,000 impoverished Negroes to the North in "reverse Freedom Rides" has fallen far short of its goal.... [I]t was learned that Mr. Boyd was still on the payroll of Harvey J. Brudner, president of Medical Developments, Inc., in Fort Lee, New Jersey. 
  2. ^ "Negro on Way to Cleveland In Reverse Freedom Ride". United Press International in The New York Times. June 15, 1962. Retrieved 2008-07-11. A young Negro, his only luggage a paper bag, was on his way to Cleveland today, the fourth "reverse freedom rider" sent north ... 
  3. ^ a b "Negro 'Ride' Plan Stirs New Furor.". The New York Times. April 25, 1962. Retrieved 2008-04-15. Javits Hits Segregationists' Bid To Send 1,000 North. Donors Not Named. Negro 'Ride' Plan Stirs New Furor Warns Other Negroes. Hebert Sees Hypocrisy. Javits and Keating Critical. Boyd 'Couldn't Be Happier' New Orleans A proposal to send a 'freedom train' up North carrying 1,000 Negroes on a free one-way ride away from segregation in the South drew new cries of outrage and support today. ... The company, which plans to manufacture medical electronic equipment, offered Mr. Boyd the job through its president, Dr. Harvey J. Brudner, of New ... 
  4. ^ "Negro Sent Here Given Bad Check. Father Of 8 Is Owed Pay. Employer In Hospital.". The New York Times. May 12, 1962. Retrieved 2008-04-15. Louis Boyd, the Negro father of eight whose family was the first to reach New York on bus tickets paid for by Southern segregationists, did not work yesterday for the third straight day. ... Harvey J. Brudner, president of the company, has been confined to a hospital ... 
  5. ^ Clive Webb (2004). "The Reverse Freedom Rides of 1962". Journal of American Studies. 38 (2): 249. doi:10.1017/S0021875804008436. Shortly after 7 o'clock on the morning of 20 April 1962, Louis and Dorothy Boyd arrived at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. The journey from their native New Orleans had taken forty-three hours. With the Boyds were their eight children, five girls and three boys aged between three and twelve years old. Between them the family carried their entire worldly possessions in three cardboard boxes and an old foot locker.