Freedom Rides Museum unveils newly discovered photo from Civil Rights Movement

A new picture from the early Civil Rights Movement is now on display. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Published: Apr. 23, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that was definitely how organizers at Montgomery’s Freedom Rides Museum felt on Saturday.

“It’s an amazing piece of American history, and we’re excited to be able to have it here on display at the museum,” said Dorothy Walker, site director for the museum.

A photo that was tucked away for years is now on display for the first time. It depicts activists involved in the Journey of Reconciliation, which inspired the Freedom Rides.

The historic image features the interracial group of men who traveled for two weeks back in 1947. They were protesting segregated seating on buses across the upper south.

Their efforts served as a blueprint for nonviolent protests used throughout the Civil Rights Movement, and now their faces are on display exactly 75 years after their journey.

“As far as we know, over the last 75 years, there’s only been one photograph of some of the members of that group,” Walker added.

There is still research that needs to be done to verify the details, like where the image was taken. Museum staff do know it was found by a researcher digging through archives.

“Through the diligent research of someone who came across this actually kind of accidentally, we have a new photograph showing members of the Journey of Reconciliation, as they were leaving on that journey 75 years ago and we’re delighted to be unveiling this new photograph,” Walker said.

Those who would like to see that new photo can visit the Freedom Rides Museum in downtown Montgomery Tuesday through Saturday.

Individual tickets to enter the museum go for $5 or less. They regularly have discounts for college students and military members. They also host group tours.

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