I find the stories of the 1961 Freedom Riders so inspirational and incredible. I love how these young women weren't afraid to voice their beliefs and convictions in such a powerful way. I love what Pauline Knight-Ofusu, a Rider from Nashville, TN has to say about why she joined the movement:
"It was like a wave or a wind, and you didn't know where it was coming from but you knew you were supposed to be there. Nobody asked me, nobody told me."
So awesome - doesn't that just 'wow' you? I find that as a young woman with strong convictions, beliefs, and opinions it's easy to feel nervous about speaking up. Even in today's pro-women society, I still feel like I'm going to be called a bitch if I speak up. Isn't it strange how so many women who are strong and bright are still intimidated out of speaking their mind? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not about to go burn my bra or anything, but a man who is strong and loud in his beliefs is a "leader." Not so much for women.
I think us women can learn a thing or two from the women who were involved in the Freedom Riders movement. It's not always pretty, it's not easy, and it's not always fun. But voicing your convictions and beliefs is an admirable thing, and should never be discouraged.
ps. Watch the entire PBS move here.