Freedom Rider at Kwanzaa celebration in Aurora

freedom rider Thomas M. Armstrong III
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The annual Kwanzaa celebration at the Prisco Center in Aurora Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, includes author and freedom rider Thomas M. Armstrong III. The celebration was sponsored by Aurora’s African American Men of Unity. He delivers the keynote message at the Aurora celebration with information about his book, “Autobiography of a Freedom River”. The book is an historical account of his burning need to help create social change for his fellow black citizens. His memoir traces to his great-grandparents who were freed slaves. The book examines the history of the civil rights movement. He received indignities for his part in the early participation in the civil rights struggle.

Armstrong was born in Silver Creek, Miss. and was the same age, 14, when another boy, Emmett Till was kidnapped, tortured, and killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Three years later, at Tougaloo College, the author became involved in the civil rights movement. Freedom riders’ aims were to integrate interstate bus service. They were arrested in a whites-only waiting rooms.

Ayodele ceremonial drum and dance team members performed, along with Simply Destiny of Aurora. Kwanzaa is an annual celebration of African heritage that is celebrated by many African-Americans living in the U.S..

Jason Crane/The Voice

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