September 21, 2023

Freedom Rides Video

With a 40-foot-long silver bus as its central canvas, the James Farmer and the Freedom Rides exhibit carries visitors back to the spring of 1961, when a group of courageous men and women risked their lives to desegregate interstate public transportation.

This one-of-a-kind exhibition comes to life through a video, at, produced for UMW by photographer Norm Shafer. The video incorporates footage of the arrival of the 1960s-era bus on campus and photos of the February 7 kick off of the university’s three-month celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

Free and open to the public through March 31, the James Farmer and the Freedom Rides exhibit allows visitors to add their voices to those of others as they ponder the question, “Would you get on the bus?” The public can post their thoughts in the comments area of this exhibition.

School groups of all ages are encouraged to visit the Fredericksburg campus and experience this unusual exhibit. James Farmer and the Freedom Rides was created by a UMW committee comprising Courtney Chapman, AJ Newell, Maria Schultz, Elisabeth Sommer, and Neva Trenis.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.