Learn about the historic 1961 Mississippi Freedom Rides, how the mug shots of the 329 arrested Riders were made and survived, and how Eric Etheridge used them to locate Riders so many years later for his book, Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. A new edition of the book — which contains the mug shots of all the Riders, as well as Eric’s contemporary portraits and short profiles of 99 of the original Riders — was released this year. Eric will discuss the motivations of the individual Riders in going to Mississippi.
Subsequent to the book’s publication, Etheridge’s Freedom Rider portraits and their mug shots were included in the exhibition, “The Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968,” at the High Museum in Atlanta in 2008, which traveled to the Smithsonian in Washington, DC; the Field Museum in Chicago; the Skirball in Los Angeles; and the Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York City.
In 2011, Etheridge co-founded the Mississippi Freedom 50th Foundation, which organized events in Jackson and across Mississippi to mark the 50th anniversary of the Rides.
ERIC ETHERIDGE started his career as a magazine editor, working at Rolling Stone, Harper’s Magazine, 7 Days, and elsewhere. In 2009, he wrote a daily online column, The Opinionator, for the New York Times.
Presider: Hazel May
Shared Charity: This week’s shared charity, Brotherhood Sister Sol (Bro/Sis), provides comprehensive, holistic, and long-term support services to youth who range in age from eight to twenty-two, focusing on such issues as leadership development and educational achievement, sexual responsibility, sexism and misogyny, political education and social justice, Pan-African and Latino history, and global awareness. Bro/Sis provides 4-to-6-year rites of passage programming, after-school care, school and home counseling, summer camps, job training and employment, college preparation, community organizing training, and international study programs to Africa and Latin America. Though locally based, Bro/Sis has a national reach.