Connection with a Freedom Rider


McComb High School students had the honor of speaking with Freedom Rider Hezekiah Watkins by phone on February 7, 2015. Leading up to the call, students prepared a series of question to gain as much information as possible from Mr. Watkins. When Mr. Watkins was asked how he got involved in the Freedom Rides, he informed the students that he initially went to the greyhound bus station to see the Freedom Riders. Once he arrived, he was mistaken for a Freedom Rider, arrested, and sent to Parchman Prison for being a bystander in the crowd.He shared that the humiliation stuck with him more than the beatings and that he doesn’t think that he would ever get over being spat in the face. When the Freedom Riders were arrested, they were taken to jail in the back of garbage trucks that were already filled with garbage. Mr. Watkins told the students that this experience inspired him to get involved with the Civil Rights Movement. Mr. Watkins enlightened the students on many things that they did not know. He agreed to meet with the students in McComb in a couple of weeks.