Interview with Diane Nash
QUESTION 36
INTERVIEWER:

OK, THAT WAS A ROLL OUT ON CAMERA ROLL 356. WE'RE GOING TO 357. THIS IS STILL CAMERA ROLL 357. OK, FRESH ROLL 357. WHAT I WANT TO DO IS, I WANT TO JUMP TO THE FREEDOM RIDES, AND I WANT YOU TO TELL ME ABOUT HEARING ABOUT MONTGOMERY AND THE FIRST RIDES AND STOPPING WITH WHAT THAT DID TO YOU.

Diane Nash:

Well, we heard about the Freedom Rides in Nashville, when they were starting, and we all agreed with their purposes and agreed that it was really an important thing for CORE to do. We also were very aware of the tact that taking the route that they were taking, which was down the eastern seacoast, into the deep south, through Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, we knew that that was awfully dangerous, and that they would probably meet with violence a number of times. So, in Nashville we decided that we would watch them, as they, as the Freedom Ride progressed, and if there were ways that we could help, we'd stand by, and be available. And true enough, that's—well, they were beaten and attacked, many, many times. When the buses were burned in Anniston, on Mother's Day, the Nashville group met and—when those buses were burned in Alabama, since there was such a close kinship, between us and the Freedom Riders, we understood exactly what they were doing, and it was our fight, every bit as much as theirs. It was as though we had been attacked. And a contingency of students left Nashville to go and pick up the Freedom Ride where it had stopped, been stopped. Now, that was really one of the times where I saw people face death. Because nobody went and joined the Freedom Ride without—it would have been really unwise to have gone without realizing that they might not come back. Some of the students that left gave me sealed letters to be mailed, in case they were killed. That's how prepared they were, for death.