“Blackest Bus in America” to stop in Nashville, other southern communities to raise awareness around voter suppression, advocate for D.C. statehood, build Black voting power

Nashville, Tenn. — On Sunday, June 20, Black Voters Matter (BVM) will stop in Nashville for a community event and rally as part of BVM’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights. The Freedom Ride is a national education and outreach campaign to increase support for voting rights legislation, advocate for D.C. statehood, and build Black voting power making stops in key southern states to rally with partner organizations and concerned citizens and discuss the issues impacting their communities. Beginning at 2 PM CST, BVM’s “Blackest Bus in America” will stop in Nashville for a community event at First Baptist Church Capitol Hill (625 Rosa Parks Blvd, Nashville, Tennessee 37203), which will include voter education, honoring the life of late Freedom Rider Kwama Lillard, and a speech from Black Voters Matter co-founder Cliff Albright.
The event will stream live via Black Voters Matter’s Youtube channel.
BVM’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights continues the tradition of the original Freedom Rides, the historic protests that took place 60 years ago to challenge racial segregation in the South. Following Sunday’s event in Nashville, BVM will also host a virtual watch party and panel discussion beginning at 2:30 PM CST for the PBS special American Experience: Freedom Riders. The panel, which would follow the virtual watch party on Sunday, June 20, will include Black Voters Matter co-founders LaTosha Brown and Cliff Albright, as well as civil rights icons like Gloria McKissack, a veteran of the Nashville sit-ins, who will reflect on the legacy of the Freedom Rides some 60 years later.
  • Marilyn Brown & Timothy Hughes, State Coordinators, Black Voters Matter
  • TN NAACP Statewide Conference
  • Gideon’s Army
  • Esquires Distinguished Gentlemen
  • The Equity Alliance
  • June 20 from 2 PM to 4 PM CST
  • First Baptist Church, 625 Rosa Parks Blvd, Nashville
BVM’s Freedom Ride for Voting Rights comes as more than 40 states consider legislation to restrict voting rights, which would have a disproportionate impact on Black communities. In addition to voter outreach and engagement, the bus tour will raise awareness about this harmful legislation and empower communities to combat restrictions to early voting, absentee ballots, and other important reforms. Similar to the original Freedom Rides, BVM is also encouraging organizations, activists and supporters to join the caravan for part or all of the route, creating space for those who would like to participate whether for just one day or multiple days.
The bus is expected to make stops in each of the following cities:
  • Saturday, June 19: Birmingham, AL
  • Sunday, June 20: Nashville, TN
  • Monday, June 21: Atlanta, GA
  • Tuesday, June 22: Columbia, SC
  • Wednesday, June 23: Raleigh, NC
  • Thursday, June 24: Charleston, WV
  • Friday, June 25: Richmond, VA
  • Saturday, June 26: Washington, D.C.


For more information, visit Black Voters Matter’s website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.