Freedom – Riders & Writers
by Nancy Eastman at GoldenRule4Everyone.com.
Real events in history are excellent things to use as learning and teaching tools for everyone. Just as we learn from our parents about correct behavior etc, we can all learn from historical stories. In this article I am briefly discussing: “Freedom Riders” and “Freedom Writers.”
PG13 — Parents of children should view the movies and read the books themselves first before sharing with young children. They will need help if they view the DVDs because of the violence (yes, real true violence).
I was 13 years old at the time the “Freedom Riders” events took place. I followed as best I could at that age the events that took place. I remember hearing about this at the time it showed up in our local news.
The Freedom Riders worked very hard in 1961 to get equal treatment for people of all colors in the southern states in the United States of America. This was all about skin color, and all about tolerance and equal freedom for everyone living in the United States. The Freedom Riders were brutally treated, clobbered, attempts made to burn them alive, and yet they persisted. And in the end they were successful in their efforts.
We watched the Oprah show about the Freedom Riders; and I am sure many of you did too. Oprah’s show reminded me of what I had heard about the Freedom Riders when I was 13 years old. Shortly after Oprah’s show, we watched the PBS presentation about the Freedom Riders. Both television shows were excellent presentations and are very good learning/teaching tools.
I highly recommend this for everyone to use as a family event if you have children age 13 and above. This story is available as a book/Kindle book/DVD. Read the book together and watch the television presentation together and then discuss it afterwards. And be sure to focus on the words “Freedom,” “Tolerance,” “Respect,” and “Responsibility.”
PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED. You can click on any of the individual links, or click on the Amazon link, and then do a search for “Freedom Riders.” You can also search for “Freedom Writers,” which is described farther down on this page.
I do receive a small commission from Amazon when someone clicks on the links and purchases a copy.
“Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice”
By Raymond Arsenault
KINDLE STORE PRODUCT
I purchased a DVD of the movie “Freedom Writers” some time ago and have watched it quite a few times. This movie fits together with the “Freedom Riders” story very well. The “Freedom Writers” story is about gangs, gang violence, different skin color issues, and methods of teaching those students in a public school. It definitely covers the subject of “Tolerance.” The students in one class (a class that was looked down on by other teachers in that school) got a new teacher one year. And this new teacher was determined to find a way to teach her students as much as she possibly could. That teacher used some unusual methods – methods that worked extremely well.
This teacher that helped her students learn and eventually write the “Freedom Writers Diary” in 1999 went through some extremely tough experiences, as did all of her students. She had to fight against the head of her school and fight against the normal approval procedures for some events she wanted to do for those students. The teacher was very successful in showing her students what tolerance is all about and the students were successful in doing a very good job at completing their education.
There was one method that this teacher used that really caught my attention and impressed me a lot – because it really worked. It was called “The Line Game.” As the students walked into the classroom one day they saw that all the chairs had been moved to both sides of the classroom so that the center of the room was empty. The teacher explains the game and tells the students that if the question she asks applies to them then they are to step up to the line. And then they are to step back for the next question. She starts with some fairly common questions for those students and then moves to tougher and tougher questions. And as the students step up to the line as the questions apply to them, they look up and down the line and see most of the students in the classroom standing by the line – showing all of them how much they have in common with each other.
One of the tasks the teacher had the students do towards the end of their sophomore year was to type the diaries/journals that she had them writing in every day. The student’s stories were then combined together into the “Freedom Writers Diary.”
Those students and the teacher became a family. Some of those students were the first in their family to graduate from high school. And some of them went on to college. This story is very inspiring. The book consists of the students’ stories and was published in 1999. The movie was created based on the book, and does contain some fiction along with the true story. The book and the movie could be another subject for a weekly family event (if you have children age 13 and above) focusing on “Tolerance,” “Respect,” and “Responsibility.”
“Freedom Writers” movie
Starring Hilary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, and Mario
DVD is dated 2007