Ernest (Rip) Patton

We celebrate Nashville native, Mississippi Freedom Rider, and jazz drummer Dr. Rip Patton (1940-2021). Dr. Patton was a participant of the Mississippi Freedom Rides.

Rip Patton was a student at TSU (then Tennessee A&I) in 1961 when he participated as a Freedom Rider and was jailed in Mississippi. Along with other students he was expelled from TSU, years later receiving an honorary doctorate from that institution. In the meantime he lived in Los Angeles and worked as a jazz drummer, playing with artists including Roy Ayers and Lou Rawls. Back in Nashville, he was in demand as a speaker and taught Civil Rights and nonviolent protest at several southern universities.