Freedom Riders Return to Parchman
On May 25, 2011, as part of a week-long commemoration in Mississippi of the 1961 Freedom Rides, many of the Riders who had been incarcerated in Parchman that summer returned to the prison and toured Unit 17, the maximum security building where they had been locked up.
In 1961 Unit 17 was also the site of death row and the gas chamber, which was located in the rooms off the main cell block to the right in the diagram above. Unit 17 no longer houses any prisoners, but inmates are still executed here, now by lethal injection.
Rick Sheviakov. In the background is David Baer, son of Rider Byron Baer, who was Sheviakov’s cellmate and died in 2007.
Judith Frieze Wright
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The Freedom Riders Return to Jackson
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- Freedom Riders in the Smithsonian Magazine
- Freedom Riders on Obama’s Victory
- High Road to Freedom: My Pictures At An Exhibition