Of course, I would have loved for the cover to show an interracial pair, one black rider and one white, but that would have been far too dangerous for a photo op. In fact, in 1959, two years after my dad and his friends rode integrated, a group of student activists in Tallahassee planned another test ride. They decided that it would be safe for black riders to take seats in the front of the bus, though it happened rarely, but that white and black students riding together would only invite violence. They were right, of course. In 1961, when integrated Freedom Riders rode south on a Greyhound from Nashville, violence materialized at every turn, most famously on Mother's Day when an angry crowd in Anniston, Alabama threw gas-soaked rags through the bus windows screaming: "Fry the goddamn niggers." Most of the angry crowd, men and women, were still wearing church clothes.
One last footnote on the cover art: I heard a speaker on design this summer mention that orange is the second-worst color choice for a book cover, behind only purple. Then again orange does bring out that Sunnyland irony.