The Freedom Train 2015

On January 19, 2015, I went on what is announced as being the last Freedom Train to commemorate the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomey, Alabama, in 1965. It was a very festive atmosphere, as many families of all races joined in the Freedom Train and the march in San Francisco. It is a fitting tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and the many people who participated in the civil rights campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s.

During the ride a dynamic lady lead my section of the train in readings and songs. She passed out programs and gave a history of the Freedom Train. In the late 1970s to mid 1980s, many cities formed “Freedom Trains” to commemorate the 54 mile march from Selma to Montgomery that civil rights participants traveled in 1965. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Silicon Valley started the San Francisco Freedom Train in the early 1980s. The lady then led the train in a sing-a-long of “The Star Spangled Banner”, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”, and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. She ended with a recitation of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

At the last stop, the group began a march to the Yerba Buena Garden. I flitted in and out of the crowd, taking photos of the marchers and getting into conversations with various individuals. Many religious groups participated, including the Union of Black Episcopalians, the San Francisco Interfaith Council, The Old Presbyterian Church, Episcopalians for Peace, the Lutherans Hungry for Justice, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Or Shalom Jewish Community, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the San Francisco Unit of Church Women United. Several shirts alluded to the tragic killings in Ferguson and New York, and a few alluded to the restrictions in voting rights in several states.

Here are photos of the Freedom Train for this year


About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Since my time in college, my goal has been to be a successful children’s book illustrator. I’ve illustrated 3 books: Two Moms the Zark and Me by Johnny Valentine in 1993; Night Travelers by Sue Hill in 1994; and Cherubic Children’s New Classic Story Book Volume 2 for Cherubic Press in 1998. I’ve painted murals for Lester Shields Elementary School in San Jose, the Berryessa branch of the San Jose Public Library, and Grace Community Church in Los Altos. I’ve had a few illustrations published in South Bay Accent Magazine and I will have an illustration published in the January/February issue of Tikkun magazine.
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