Freedom Riders Analytical Essay
Between 1877 and the 1960s Jim Crow laws were in effect with the idea of, “separate but equal,” they consisted of a series of rigid and unjust laws with the purpose of keeping the races segregated. These laws applied to the southern states of America and although set up for racial equality, the laws were abused by the white people and all other races became inferior to them. In the documentary film, Freedom Riders, viewers are made aware of of the violence and segregation shown to African Americans and how they then fought back for their racial equality through the Freedom Rides. Freedom Riders, released in 2010 is about the true story of a six month period in 1961 where a group of 13 African American and white people of both sexes embarked on a Freedom Ride, this ride consisted of traveling from the North to the South on a Greyhound bus and a Trailways bus to protest segregation in a non violent way. The Freedom Riders did this by acting in ways that is morally okay but was unlawful at the time of the Jim Crow laws such as an African American talking to and being in company with a white person. Freedom Riders has been constructed through the use of filmic codes and documentary codes to portray the Fisk Freedom Riders, Janie Forsyth McKinney and Dianne Judith Nash as fighting for equality.
The Fisk Freedom Riders of the documentary film, “Freedom Riders” are portrayed as valuing liberty this is presented through the Freedom Riders possessing the attitude of resolve this has been shown through the use of archival interviews, technical codes and symbolism to represent the idea that they are fighting for equality. After the event in which the Fisk Freedom Riders were beaten in Montgomery, Alabama, when they exited the Greyhound Bus, nearly all Freedom Riders were hospitalised including external supporters of equality. Whilst recovering from injury, Jim Zwerg, a Freedom Rider is interviewed lying in his hospital bed, he says, “We're dedicated to this. We'll take hitting, we'll take beating. We're willing to accept death. But we're going to keep coming until we can ride from anywhere in the South to anyplace else in the South.” Jim Zwerg like many other Freedom Riders is covered in cuts and bruises and is struggling to speak from the fear that still haunts him during the interview. The music that plays during this scene is slow and pitiful which emphasises not only the physical damage but also the mental impacts such as fear forever living in each of the activists. During Jim Zwerg’s interview, he is pictured holding a newspaper with headlines outlining the attack, although Jim was there viewers can infer that he want to understand the medias perspective of the event. Jim Zwerg speaks for himself and the other Freedom Riders that despite extreme violence shown to them and having to be hospitalised for their serious injuries they were still determined to carry on with the Freedom Rides. Through ...