Freedom Riders Share Stories of Civil Rights Activism

Honoring the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and Brown v. Board National Historic Site presents the Created Equal Film Series. It also commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights amendment.

Robert and Helen Singleton, Freedom Riders

Freedom Riders Robert and Helen Singleton

Brown v Board, 1515 SW Monroe St., hosts the film Freedom Riders – about civil rights activists by the same name who creatively challenged segregation – 5-8pm Thursday, May 8. Following the film, stick around for a talk by Robert and Helen Singleton, who challenged discriminatory practices in the ‘60s as actual Freedom Riders. In Mississippi, the couple, along with 300 others, were arrested for standing up to discriminatory interstate travel laws in the South.

The other films in the series are The Abolitionists and Slavery By Another Name. Dates and showtimes for those movies will be announced in Library News or at

“We hope to spark a dialogue about the changing meaning of freedom and equality in our nation and our community,” said Donna Rae Pearson, local history librarian. “Expect to hear stories that remind us of those who fought for equality. And as the world changes, it’s important to understand the lessons learned so that repeating history can be avoided for others.”

Each of the films tells stories of individuals who challenged the status quo of deeply rooted institutions, from slavery to segregation. All of the films mentioned are also available for check out. If reading is more your thing, visit for a civil rights-focused book list.

The “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Library hours: Mon–Fri. 9am to 9pm, Sat 9am to 6pm, and Sun 12pm to 9pm.      


Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.