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About The Few Who Flew

The Few Who Flew is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization, committed to honoring and celebrating unsung heroes and activists of the Civil Rights era.

The Few Who Flew inspired this nonprofit organization as they were Freedom Riders who challenged the segregated Jim Crow laws by organizing peaceful sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, and traveling on interstate buses and trains with segregated seating.


However, these particular unsung heroes did not receive public attention until they provoked the segregated laws at airports, hence The Few Who Flew. On July 24, 1961, Rev. Matthew Petway, along with two of his children, Kredelle  and Alphonso, as well as Cecil Thompson, a graduate student from Ohio State University, boarded a Delta Airlines flight to Jackson, Mississippi where they participated in peaceful demonstrations protesting the segregated laws there, testing a 1960 decision by the Supreme Court in Boynton v. Virginia. Upon their arrival, the airport was closed, and they were taken to Hines County Jail where they were confined for three days. 


We are committed to honoring all unsung heroes and civil rights activists and give them the attention they deserve.

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"You didn't know what you were going to encounter. You had night riders. You had hoodlums . . . You could be antagonized at any point in your journey.”

Charles Person, Freedom Rider of 1961

Our Mission

Our Mission

The Few Who Flew is committed to honoring and celebrating unsung heroes and activists who have fought and continue to fight for the civil liberties of our community.

The Inspiration

For many years, the Freedom Riders who traveled by plane haven't always received acknowledgement and have even been overlooked by many. Taking this into account, we are taking initiative to highlight their stories, commemorate their courageousness and ensure their legacies withstand the tests of time.

We Need Your Support Today!

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