The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota

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Freedom Rider shares his story with Minnesotans

Ernest Patton, Jr. tells untold story of Nashville’s importance to Civil Rights Movement

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


Nashville, Tennessee is more known for its country music roots, but the city also has strong roots in the Civil Rights Movement, says civil rights activist Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr. The Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas’ Tolerance Minnesota sponsored Patton’s October 11-12 visit, where he met with local high school students as well as college students at St. Cloud State University. Patton always wanted to be in music, and his initial goals included teaching music in school. His teaching plans were put on hiatus after he became involved in the Nashville movement in 1961 that led to the eventual integration of the city’s downtown lunch counters. He was featured in Freedom Riders, a PBS documentary based on the book of the same name. Continue Reading →

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