Deon Taylor is on board to direct Freedom Ride, an upcoming period drama based on first-person accounts by several original Freedom Riders, including U.S. Congressman John Lewis.

The film is set in 1961 and follows a multiracial group of young activists — led by Lewis — and their actions just years before the future congressman suffered a skull fracture after being attacked by an Alabama state trooper as he and other civil rights protesters crossed the Edmund Pettis Bridge. The movie will follow the moment Lewis and others decided to take a stand in the fight against racial discrimination, traveling by bus into the segregated South where they were brutally beaten, arrested, and firebombed, yet remained nonviolent.

Taylor said in a statement about the project: “John Lewis once said, ‘You are a light. You are the light! Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light…Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.’ His words not only resonate with me as human, but inspire me to tell his amazing story. Working with our great partners at The Hideaway Entertainment, INDE Companies and the legendary Benjamin Crump is such a blessing. We are going to create an amazing film and really do John Lewis proud, I promise you!”

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Freedom Ride will start shooting this summer in Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama.