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Transcript of Sit-ins
American Civil Rights Movement A sit-in or sit-down is a form of direct action that involves one or more people non-violently occupying an area normally forbidden to them and refuses to move, often to promote political, social, or economic change.
Sit-ins occurred at many different locations, including
Swim-ins at pools
Read-ins at libraries
Watch-ins at cinemas
Shoe-ins at shoe shine bars
Jail-ins at jails
March-ins and lie ins
Stand-ins for tickets Sit-ins, while they were quite passive in that they were about being firm but not violent, were essential in the civil rights movement, as they
caused real change to occur. The protests were clearly linked to the King philosophy. The protesters were non-violent, and merely covered their heads when they were beaten, not striking back. They were merely insisting on their rights and looked to gain sympathy from liberal white people and grab the attention of the federal government. By August 1961, an estimated 70,000 people had participated in sit-ins across the country. Police frequently arrested the protestors for breaking the law, but ignored the white people who attacked them. Sit-ins allowed students to participate in the civil rights movement and be an active part of the change. Sit-ins demonstrated that mass nonviolent direct action could be successful and brought national media attention to the new era of the civil rights movement. Sit-ins weren’t a new civil rights technique. But they in 1960 helped energize the civil rights movement. The sit-ins succeeded in getting a number of public facilities desegregated, especially lunch counters. By the end of 1961, 810 towns and cities had desegregated public areas. Despite this, the Deep South remained largely unaffected, and attitudes were hardening rather than softening. Martin Luther King, Jr. described the student sit-ins as: "an electrifying movement of Negro students [that] shattered the placid surface of campuses and communities across the South,’’ and he expressed pride in the new activism for being ‘‘initiated, fed and sustained by students’’ Sit-In DO’s and DON’TS
DO show yourself in a friendly way at all times
DO sit straight and always face the counter
DO refer all information to your leader in a polite manner
DO remember the teachings of Jesus Christ, Mohandas Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
DON’T strike back or curse if being attacked
DON’T laugh out loud
DON’T hold conversations with floorwalkers
DON’T leave your seat until your leader has given you permission
DON’T block entrances of aisles of doors Black students block the (then) whites-only Blue Boar cafeteria with a sit-in. Louisville, KY, 1961 SEGREGATION Segregation was particularly strong throughout the south. Segregation was implemented to every part of daily life, every public place was separated, the white population used the ‘better, cleaner and newer’ parts and the coloured’s were forced to use the ‘dirty, old and run down’ parts. The effectiveness of nonviolent resistance was one of the most important legacies of the 1960 sit-in protests. Segregation was seen to be a moral, as well as legal issue, and the dignity of blacks in the face of white supremacist rage went far to win white and black support for the movement. African Americans could not eat at white-owned restaurants.
They entered public buildings through side or back entrances.
Whites used restrooms marked ‘men’ and ‘women’ while African Americans used restrooms marked ‘coloured’.
Whites and African Americans were even buried in different cemeteries. At approximately 5pm on February 1, 1960, Ezell Blair and his friends initiated a sit-in at F.W. Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina. They walked in and bought a few items before seating themselves at a whites-only lunch counter and ordering a coffee, which of course, they were denied. The store manager was called but still they were refused service; however the students remained seated until the store closed that night. The four students returned the next day with 23 others (including 3 white students) and over 80 by the end of the third day. Woolworths was forced to close on February 6 as the number of students was increasing and the Woolworths staff were unsure of how to react. THE GREENSBORO SIT-IN
The protestors were college students; idealistic,
determined, spontaneous, with no jobs to lose. And
they had found the best excuse for not handing in a
piece of work.
The staff didn’t know how to react; they didn’t call the
police for some time, so the protest gathered
momentum and support.
North Carolina was not as racist as some other parts
of the South; Greensboro was the first city in the south
east to desegregate its all white public schools, after 5
black students enrolled in 1957. Why was the Greensboro Sit-in so successful? The sit-ins spread widely and quickly;
by April 78 places were involved. Including;
Jacksonville, North Carolina, Florida,
Baltimore, and Tennessee. What was it's significance?
SNCC was formed to confront a wide range of issues mainly
concerning equality and discrimination. It began with an
$800.00 grant from the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference (SCLC). Ella Baker who was a part of the SCLC
helped to organise the conference which started the SNNC. What was desired was freedom from education deprivation and inhumane treatment. The tactic was to create a crisis and established a tension out of which action would occur. The southern white community could no longer ignore the issue, and would be forced to confront it. Walk-ins at art galleries
Study-ins at schools
Play-ins at Parks
Kneel-ins at Churches
Rest-ins at Restrooms
Drive-ins Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee NASHVILLE SIT-INS The Nashville sit-ins lasted from February 13th to May 10th 1960, and were notable for their early success and emphasis on disciplined nonviolence.
The sit-ins were staged at numerous stores in Nashville’s central business district. The participants were mostly black college students, who were often physically or verbally attacked. 150 students were arrested for refusing to vacate lunch counters. On may 10th 6 downtown stores
began serving black customers
at their lunch counters for the first
time. However they continued to
protest against other segregated
facilities in Nashville until the
passage of civil rights act 1964
which legally sanctioned
segregation nationwide. IMPACT C.O.R.E Inspired by the Greensboro sit-ins, independent student-led groups began direct-action protests against segregation in dozens of southern communities. They organised sit-ins at racially segregated lunch counters to protest the Jim Crow laws and other forms of racism. The groups also carried out protests at segregated public libraries, public parks, and public swimming pools. At that time, all those facilities financed by taxes were closed to blacks. The white response was often to close the facility, rather than integrate it. The Congress of Racial Equality or
CORE is a Civil Rights Organization
that played a pivotal role in the Civil
Rights Movement. Membership into
CORE still states that it is open to
“anyone who believes that ‘all people
are created equal’ and is willing to
work towards the ultimate goal of
true equality throughout the world”. CORE was founded in Chicago in 1942
and aimed to apply the principles of non-violence as a tactic against segregation. In
the South, CORE’s direct action
campaigns opposed Jim Crow segregation
and job discrimination, and fought for