A collection of photographs from the 1961 firebombing of a Freedom Riders bus is on display at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, marking Black History Month.
The 64 photographs, a traveling exhibit from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, are on display until March 3 in the airport’s domestic terminal atrium. Anniston Star photographer Joseph Postiglione shot the photos, which ran in newspapers around the country.
Atlanta businessman Hank Thomas, one of the original Freedom Riders, helped to pay for the cost of the exhibit.
“This exhibit really is a reminder that freedom isn’t easy,” said Atlanta city council president Ceasar Mitchell.
“People died, people got beaten up, we went to jail, to bring about these particular changes,” Thomas said.
Thomas was one of the riders on a Greyhound bus attacked on an Alabama highway by a mob that blocked the doors of the bus, broke its windows and threw in smoke bombs.
Thomas and another Freedom Rider, Charles Person, spoke at a Black History Month celebration at Hartsfield-Jackson on Monday.
“We were bold enough to think we could change the world, and we did,” Person said.