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The 'Sit-ins'. Despite.. Supreme Court decisions Protests Civil Rights Act 1957 Segregation was still common in the Southern States. Martin Luther King & organisers of the civil rights campaign decided to use more non-violent, civil disobedience protests to increase pressure for change.

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The 'Sit-ins'

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The sit ins

The 'Sit-ins'


The sit ins

Despite..

  • Supreme Court decisions

  • Protests

  • Civil Rights Act 1957

    Segregation was still common in the Southern States


The sit ins

Martin Luther King & organisers of the civil rights campaign decided to use more non-violent, civil disobedience protests to increase pressure for change

We will not hate you yet we will not obey your evil laws. We shall wear you down with our capacity to suffer.

Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.


The sit ins

  • In Greensboro, North Carolina Black people had to stay out of White-owned restaurants

  • 1st February 1960 - 4 Black students (The Greensboro Four) sat at the ‘whites only’ lunch counter at Woolworth's

  • When they sat down they faced a sign on the wall….

Lunch Counter

No Niggers Served Here


The sit ins

The Greensboro Four

Ezell Blair Jnr, David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil

White lady on the left arrived at the counter for lunch but refused to sit down with African Americans so she left.


The sit ins

  • The Greenboro Four…

  • Tried to order food but their order was refused

  • Were asked to move but refused and stayed till closing time

  • Expected to be arrested, beaten or even worse but were not


The sit ins

  • Next day (2nd Feb) they returned with another 80 black and white students

  • The students ‘sat in’ all day despite insults and attacks

  • By 4th Feb so much chaos had been created that the restaurant in Woolworth’s was forced to close


The sit ins

  • The students were using non-violent protest to draw attention to illegal segregation

  • The idea caught on and spread across southern states

    • Sit-ins protested about segregated swimming pools, libraries, transport facilities, museums, art galleries, parks and beaches


The sit ins

By the end of 1960, 70 000 protesters had taken part in sit-ins


The sit ins

  • Non-violent protest was met by white violence

  • TV viewers across US saw peaceful students being insulted, beaten and dragged off to jail

  • Another slogan was heard from black protesters - ‘Fill the jails’

    Why?

  • Jails in police stations reached bursting point and courts could not cope with the numbers of students breaking state law, something would have to be done

Fill the Jails!


Result of the sit ins

Result of the Sit-Ins

  • Restaurants could not afford the bad publicity and loss of business

    • Some simply closed to avoid dealing with the issue

  • By July 1960 segregated lunch counters had disappeared from 100 cities across America

  • Non-violent direct action and national TV coverage was forcing change


How effective were the sit ins

VERY

Showed young Blacks they could make a difference

Whites were forced through the media to take notice of the ‘race issue’

Showed non-violent protest worked

Showed MLK that black students could play crucial role in civil rights movement

Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed

LIMITED

Only brought limited change in towns and cities

Segregation and discrimination still existed in southern States

How effective were the Sit-Ins?


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