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 San Diego (June 2022), the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) is pleased to host the national celebration recognizing the 60th Anniversary of the courageous actions of the Freedom Riders. The exhibit June 17 – September 7, San Diego will be the site of a national, interactive, photographic exhibit entitled “The Buses Are a Coming”. 

The exhibit will be installed at Quartyard. The predominant elements includes historic photographs documenting the Riders and their horrific experience, videos, and interactive audio interviews. 

Opening night will feature live performances by the Scan-Harbor Elite Youth Ensemble, from NYC and a performance of the Freedom Rider’s Musical, by San Diego based creatives, Richard Allen, and Taran Gray. Visitors will also have an opportunity to see some very special guests, a few of the 1961 Freedom Riders. 

Gaidi Finnie, Executive Director, SDAAMFA noted, “An interesting historic fact is that the Riders were like the diverse protesters who took to the streets in 2020. They were predominately Black and white youth (under the age of 30). Age did not deter them from getting on those busses and risking their lives for the rights of Black Americans in 1961. Our young people today followed a great example of courage and conviction.” 

This important exhibit opens, on June 17 at 6:00 PM. Local dignitaries and Civil Rights icons will also be on hand to open the exhibit and welcome the Freedom Riders to San Diego. Throughout the duration of the exhibit there will be various programs designed to encourage visitors to come to the exhibit. 

All activities held in association with “The Buses Are a Coming” are free to all.

Please check the SDAAMFA website for a complete list of programs and activities and follow SDAAMFA on Instagram.

To learn more about the history, we encourage you to watch the 2010 documentary, Freedom Riders, which streams free via PBS.org. This sobering account tells the story of the heroic Americans in 1961 who rode a treacherous Greyhound bus route into the south as a non-violent way to protest segregated bus terminals.