NY1 Reporter Budd Mishkin Marking 50th Anniversary of Historic Freedom Rides

Longtime NY1 reporter Budd Mishkin is about to embark on a journey that would make his history teachers proud.

Mishkin is taking the Freedom Rides route made famous 50 years ago through Deep South cities.

“The producers and executive producer knew of the events that were going on and knew of my interest in the Civil Rights Era and the Civil Rights Movement,” Mishkin tells FishbowlNY.

It doesn’t hurt that Mishkin is also a history buff.

“There are going to be kids involved from New York going down, reenacting the Freedom Ride, or at least to a certain extent, going to some of the important sites from the Civil Rights Era.”

So Mishkin will board a bus in Harlem Friday with students from The Renaissance Charter High School for Innovation, University High, Boys and Girls High School, and Scan New York—an after school program providing support for at-risk students and their families in East Harlem and the South Bronx.

Mishkin will file reports from the bus and along the way. Ultimately, they will terminate in Jackson, Mississippi. First, Mishkin (and his photographer/editor Vanessa Yurkevich) pull over in Washington, D.C. –but it’s no pit stop.  The plan is to meet with a couple of original Freedom Riders for lunch.

Mishkin says the 50 students will then drive into two cities that became a huge Civil Rights player—Greensboro, North Carolina and Birmingham, Alabama.

“It should be a great experience,” Mishkin says. “I think the whole crux of it is seeing these students meeting with the Freedom Riders, being part of that connection and seeing how they relate to one another.”

Mishkin is also intrigued to see how this story may affect the students today.

“I’m interested to see how the students respond to being there and also talking to these people that really, to be honest, put their lives on the line 50 years ago,” Mishkin admits.

But for Mishkin, being on the bus is largely due to a personal connection to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

“I knew more about ’64 [Freedom Summer] because I was friendly with Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andy Goodman, who was one of the three civil rights workers killed [in Mississippi],” Mishkin reflects. “…The idea of going to do this, it’s not your average assignment, and expect it’ll be quite meaningful because, obviously, it’s one of those important moments in civil rights history.”