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Publisher's Summary

"Narrator Landon Woodson does a masterful job delivering Person's audiobook - which is both Person's own coming-of-age story and the story of a nation trying to reckon with racism.... This important audiobook is shared exquisitely by Woodson." (AudioFile Magazine)

A firsthand exploration of the cost of boarding the bus of change to move America forward - written by one of the Civil Rights Movement's pioneers.

At 18, Charles Person was the youngest of the original Freedom Riders, key figures in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who left Washington, D.C. by bus in 1961, headed for New Orleans. This purposeful mix of black and white, male and female activists - including future Congressman John Lewis, Congress of Racial Equality Director James Farmer, Reverend Benjamin Elton Cox, journalist and pacifist James Peck, and CORE field secretary Genevieve Hughes - set out to discover whether America would abide by a Supreme Court decision that ruled segregation unconstitutional in bus depots, waiting areas, restaurants, and restrooms nationwide.

Two buses proceeded through Virginia, North and South Carolina, to Georgia where they were greeted by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and finally to Alabama. There, the Freedom Riders found their answer: No. Southern states would continue to disregard federal law and use violence to enforce racial segregation. One bus was burned to a shell, its riders narrowly escaping; the second, which Charles rode, was set upon by a mob that beat several riders nearly to death.

Buses Are a Comin’ provides a front-row view of the struggle to belong in America, as Charles Person accompanies his colleagues off the bus, into the station, into the mob, and into history to help defeat segregation’s violent grip on African American lives. It is also a challenge from a teenager of a previous era to the young people of today: become agents of transformation. Stand firm. Create a more just and moral country where students have a voice, youth can make a difference, and everyone belongs.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press

"Shot through with vivid details of beatdowns, arrests, and awe-inspiring bravery, this inspirational account captures the magnitude of what the early civil rights movement was up against.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

"A vital story, this memoir is also an instructive gift to future generations fighting for change.” (Kirkus, starred review)

©2021 Charles Person and Richard Rooker (P)2021 Macmillan Audio

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  • donnag
  • 27-05-21

Great story

I really enjoyed listening to his story. I learned exactly what freedom riders faced and was truly amazed by the courage and fortitude they possessed.

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  • Tamika Mika Cummings
  • 06-05-21

A movement of history determines its future. WMID?

What am I going to do? This question resonates. I'm blown away to read the passages, that seem like a sad rite of passage; yet the pain of the past is mirrored in nuances of today. Thd book is an invite to own a Rite of Passage but to endure there will always be a sacrifice. Thank you to each and every Jim Peck and Charles Person ❤ I'm grateful that your sacrifices in 'Buses are Comin" means there is a way home chosen route or not. I cried in my soul reading but definitely needed.