Freedom Rider to Share Story and Documentary at UMW, Feb. 3

More than 50 years ago, a 19-year-old college student named Joan Trumpauer Mulholland bought a flight to Mississippi and joined the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement. It was 1961, the year that dozens of sit-ins occurred in diners and drugstores and the same year that the Freedom Rides challenged segregated interstate bus travel in the Deep South. Mulholland, a white teenager raised in the South, was arrested and sent to prison for two months for her involvement in the protests.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW's Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Joan Mulholland, shown during a trip to UMW in 2011, will be a part of UMW’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 3.

Mulholland will share her story at the University of Mary Washington on Monday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411 as part of the Black History Month celebration. The evening will begin with a showing of the new documentary, “An Ordinary Hero,” which chronicles her unlikely journey. After the documentary, Mulholland and the film’s director will lead a discussion and answer questions.

Mulholland was among the former Freedom Riders who joined UMW as it commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides in 2011 with a three-month celebration. The centerpiece of the celebration was a 1960s-era bus and exhibit of historical photos on Ball Circle.

UMW’s Black History Month celebration also will feature the following events:

  • Saturday, Feb. 1 – Black History Month Kickoff Celebration: Gospelfest
    • 3 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Tuesday, Feb. 4 – Great Lives Lecture: Martin Luther King Jr.
    • 7:30 p.m. in George Washington Hall’s Dodd Auditorium
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 – Civil War to Civil Rights: Trail to Freedom Teacher Resources Toolkit
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12 – Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Angela Rye, principal at IMPACT Strategies and the youngest woman to serve as executive director and general counsel of the Congressional Black Caucus
    • 7 p.m. in Lee Hall, Room 411
  • Wednesday, Feb. 26 – An Evening of Jazz: A Tribute to America’s Great Black Artists
    • 7:30 p.m., Lee Hall, the Underground

All events are free and open to the public. For more information and a detailed list of events, visit http://students.umw.edu/multicultural/programs/black-history-month-celebration/.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.