1. Can you find a political cartoon about the Freedom Riders that was published during the time of the Freedom Riders?
2. What advice can you give young searchers about how to solve this search challenge?
Lots of readers wrote in with great suggestions. Let me tell you what I did....
1. Did a bit of background research to double check I knew what I was looking for... While I barely remember the Freedom Riders, I wasn't 100% sure I knew what the dates of the Freedom Rides. Like many of you, I had to do a bit of background research to be sure what I was searching. Here, the obvious query:
[ freedom riders ]
leads to a whole pile of articles. I learned that the Freedom Rides happened during May of 1961 when a dedicated group of men and women, black and white, boarded buses bound for the deep South to challenge segregationist practices and non-compliance with the US Supreme Court decision that prohibited segregation in all interstate public transportation facilities.
2. Searching for images from that time. My next search was to turn to Google Images with the query:
[ freedom riders 1961 ]
I turned on the black-and-white color filter, and ended up with an awful lot of images (and no cartoons).
[ freedom riders political cartoon 1961 ]
and this time, I didn't turn on the black-and-white filter. This gave me a pretty good result.
There are two cartoons here (well, the same cartoon twice) entitled "Anti-Freedom Riders."
When I clicked through to see the cartoon on the original page, I found two other things...
1. The cartoon is by the cartoonist Herb Block;
2. The cartoon is from MyLOC.gov (that is, the Library of Congress).
This gives me two additional research strategies. Let's check to see if Herb Block had any other cartoons on the topic.
3. Using an individual to find more information. Since Block did at least one cartoon on the topic, maybe he did others. Let's try this query in Google Images:
[ Herb Block freedom riders ]
Which gives us another Freedom Rider cartoon (the three guys, 2cnd row, 2cnd column). When you click through the image, you find the cartoon described as "We don't want no troublemakers from the United States" with the cartoonist using three armed thugs to criticize the mob that attacked the Freedom Riders in Montgomery, Alabama, on May 21, 1961.
This is interesting because it's showing that another, very different strategy sometimes works quite well.
So now I'm curious about the other item we noted from above, that is, that the LOC has a cartoon collection (who knew?) that might be worth checking.
4. Search sites that have collections of the thing you seek. In this case, let's check the site LOC.gov these kinds of cartoons. In this case, let's stick with Image search.
[ site:loc.gov freedom riders cartoon 1961 ]
As you can see, we've picked up another cartoon that's relevant. (Row 2, column 1)
As you can see, these cartoons are a little far apart. So this really WAS a pretty good challenge.
What would we tell a student about searching?
This was great. Thanks again to StephanieW and her students at Mariner High School!