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Freedom Riders National Monument to Release FREEDOM RIDERS Concert

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The concert was recorded at the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, the same location that the freedom riders were attacked exactly 60 years prior.

Freedom Riders National Monument to Release FREEDOM RIDERS Concert

On December 10th, Freedom Riders National Monument will release the special concert performance of Allen and Gray's FREEDOM RIDERS: The Civil Rights Musical in honor of the Freedom Rides 60th anniversary.

The concert was recorded on May 14th, 2021 at the Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, the same location that the freedom riders were attacked exactly 60 years prior.

The cast consists of Broadway performers including Brynn Williams (13, SpongeBob Squarepants), Anthony Chatmon II (Be More Chill, Hades Town), Deon'te Goodman (Hamilton), Scott Redmond(Oklahoma U/S tour) and Payson Lewis (NBC's The Sing Off, How I Met Your Mother) alongside Meagan Flint, Tyla Collier, Erin Vanderhyde, and DeMille Cole-Heard with musical direction by Steven M. Cuevas.

The 60th anniversary concert is Directed by Richard Allen (The Musician), cinematography by Josh Schnose (Mixed-ish), sound by Nathan Nonhof, and edited by Taran Gray.

"I'm very proud of what we captured. The performances. The venue. This anniversary could only happen once. This is a special concert," says Richard Allen.

Taran Gray says, "this monument that we recorded in, which used to be a segregated Greyhound bus station and where the freedom riders were met with violence in 1961, is now reverberating with songs that tell the story of the freedom riders' victory."

Allen and Gray's FREEDOM RIDERS: The Civil Rights Musical tells the true story of the college age activists who boldly challenge the legality and optics of the Jim Crow Laws in 1961 by riding buses in mixed groups through the South; a soaring portrait of the fearless voices who used nonviolent direct action to initiate change. The show won the 2016 Beta Award at the New York Musical Festival. The show returned to the festival the following year and took home the award for "Outstanding Music" as well as a special honors award for "Social Impact and Relevance".

In 2017, Freedom Riders National Monument (FRRI) was created by presidential proclamation to commemorate the story of the "Freedom Riders." These interracial groups of activists were organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to test the impacts of the 1960 Boynton vs. Virginia Supreme Court ruling, which overturned a judgment convicting an Black law student for trespassing in a "whites only" area of a bus terminal. Up to this point, interstate facilities were designated as either black or white, and while segregation laws stipulated "separate but equal," public services offered to Black Americans were typically inferior. Black travelers often lacked soap in their bathrooms, benches in their designated bus terminals, and seating in restaurants that would not serve them alongside white patrons.

Today, the National Park Service manages the Greyhound bus station in Anniston, AL, and the bus burning site 6 miles outside of town on Highway 202. The goal of FRRI is to foster reconciliation and racial healing by commemorating the Freedom Riders nonviolent campaign that brought national attention to the brutal reality of segregation in the South and forced the federal government to take action toward ending segregation in interstate travel. Learn more at www.nps.gov/frri/, and on Facebook.

www.nps.gov


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