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KERA Airs Programs About Freedom Riders

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For Immediate Release:  May 5, 2011

DALLAS/FORT WORTH – On Monday, May 16, 2011, KERA will air Freedom Riders, detailing the historic 1961 civil rights journey through the Deep South, and The Good Fight, chronicling the life of James Farmer, Freedom Ride organizer and Marshall, Texas, native.

Freedom Riders is the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders’ belief in non-violent activism was sorely tested as mob violence and bitter racism greeted them along the way. Freedom Riders features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand. Freedom Riders premieres on the PBS series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on Monday, May 16, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. CDT on KERA. More information on the program can be found at www.pbs.org/freedomriders.

KERA will also air The Good Fight on Monday, May 16, 2011, at 10:00 p.m. CDT. A relentless leader, dynamic speaker, and forceful organizer, James Farmer was one of the first civil rights activists to use nonviolent direct action to fight for dignity and justice. A native of Marshall, Texas, Farmer was the initiator and organizer of the 1961 Freedom Ride. The Good Fight chronicles the activist’s life from his earliest days as a “Great Debater” at Wiley College to his legacy teaching a new generation of students about the movement that shaped a country.

ABOUT KERA

KERA is a not-for-profit public media organization that serves the people of North Texas. The station broadcasts to the fourth-largest population area in the United States. KERA produces original multimedia content, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at www.kera.org. The station’s extensive coverage of the arts can be found at www.artandseek.org. KERA-TV broadcasts on Channel 13.1. KERA WORLD broadcasts on 13.2. KERA-FM broadcasts on 90.1 in Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton, 88.3 in Wichita Falls, 100.1 in Tyler and 99.3 in Sherman. KXT 91.7 FM, KERA’s new music station, KXT 91.7, is streamed online at www.kxt.org.

ABOUT AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

Television’s most-watched history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been hailed as “peerless” (Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 14 George Foster Peabody Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 27 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards, one most recently in Outstanding Directing Nonfiction for My Lai.

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James Farmer (second from the left), Co-founder and National Director of the Congress of Racial Equality, speaks with other CORE members in Washington, DC as they prepare for their journey south.