ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Family and friends gathered for a Celebration of Life Service at Murray Brothers Cascade Chapel in Atlanta on September 2, 2020, to remember Freedom Rider and civil rights activist Dr. William Harbour.
They reflected on his contributions to the civil rights movement and his service to the world, until he left it on August 27, 2020.
“Today was full of sorrow, but we expressed a lot of happiness of the full life that he lived,” said his son, Marcus Harbour.
Dr. Harbour was one of several Freedom Riders who took bus trips across the South in 1961, protesting segregation. He walked hand-in-hand with civil rights icons John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, who both recently died.
They were all arrested and beaten during sit-ins, while in picket lines and marches, and while protesting Whites-only lunch counters and restrooms.
Dr. Harbour was one of several Freedom Riders who took bus trips across the South in 1961, protesting segregation.
He walked hand-in-hand with civil rights icons John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, who both recently died. (black & white photos: Freedom Riders Park) pic.twitter.com/IWrzcyDMQL
— Valencia E. Jones (@vjreports3) September 3, 2020
One of the original 13 Freedom Riders who attended the ceremony remembers their journey.
“We traveled in two buses. The first bus was fire-bombed, and the bus that I was on, the occupants were beaten severely,” said Freedom Rider Charles Person.
Harbour was also instrumental in the establishment of Freedom Riders National Monument.
Those who knew the Tennessee State alum and lifetime Phi Beta Sigma member say he lived life to the fullest. They say the fight for civil rights continues.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we do celebrate all the progress that we have made,” said Marcus Harbour.
They’ll never forget how he fought for the freedoms that many celebrate today.
“He’s just a tremendous guy. He had a lot of compassion, for young people especially,” said Person.
Harbour joined other Freedom Riders who rode off into the eternal sunset, passing the torch on to the next generations.