Civil Rights Activists and Freedom Riders, Helen and Bob Singleton Were Integral In The Enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The incredible Dr. Bob Singleton and Ms. Helen Singleton share their historical civil rights accomplishments and journey as Pat Prescott honors them during Black History Month. The Singleton's are the final members to be inducted into our Making Waves Campaign of 2020. 

As students at UCLA and Santa Monica College, Dr. and Ms. Singleton were involved in the Civil Rights movement as activists challenging discriminatory practices in apartment rentals, barber shops, and department stores in Los Angeles.  In 1961, working with the Congress of Racial Equality, they recruited and joined the Freedom Riders to challenge Mississippi and other southern states to comply with two U.S. Supreme Court decisions ruling racial segregation unconstitutional in interstate travel.  On July 30, they were arrested in Jackson, Mississippi and, along with more than 400 Freedom Riders were tried, fined and incarcerated at Parchman Penitentiary.  Their actions led the U.S. Attorney General, Robert F. Kennedy to petition the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to draw up national regulations guaranteeing “the unquestioned right of all persons to travel through the various states without being subjected to discrimination.”  The ICC issued its unanimous ruling on September 22, 1961.  The Freedom Rides and other civil rights strategies led to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which helped eliminate barriers to equal opportunity in America.

Helen and Bob Singleton