Title: Buses Are a Comin’: Memoir of a Freedom Rider
Author: Charles Person and Richard Rooker
Publish date: April 27, 2021
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I received an advanced copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in return for my honest review. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press.
“We wanted opportunity that those who had opportunity never thought about as opportunity.” – Charles Person
This is what the Freedom Riders were riding for. These men and women (both black and white) wanted the same treatment for everyone no matter the color of their skin. Ordering from the same lunch counter as white people, sitting next to a white person on the bus, using the same restroom as a white person. The problem was, “Small acts deemed inappropriate for people of color had big consequences… Defying the system could get you killed.” – Charles Person
What a necessary and timely memoir. Charles Person is one of the Freedom Riders from 1961 and this is his story. His memoir is written in a relaxed and inviting tone. It’s easy to follow, get lost in the pages, and feel comfortable with Person. He pulls you into the story. It’s easy to become consumed with his words.
We have an ominous history as it relates to race equality and human rights. It’s something that we clearly are still facing today. Reading this book was painful. It hurts to know this is how people were treated not that long ago. It hurts to see that so much really hasn’t changed. And that’s what makes this book essential.
These are the stories we need to read. These are the stories we need to know. The only way we can grow is by becoming uncomfortable and doing the hard work.
“In every era, it takes a bus of change to lead the way to new senses of belonging. … To reach those aspirations others must board the bus a comin’ for them. The ride will not be easy, but it will be necessary. It always has been. It always will be.” – Charles Person
This book was very well written. I found myself consumed in the pages. Thank you, Charles Person for doing the painful work 60 years ago. Thank you for your continued service over the past several decades. And thank you for your words today. This is an essential read. If I were a high school history teacher, this would be required reading for my class. I will be recommending this to everyone I know.
My rating: 5/5 stars