The power of the sit-in protest lay in its peaceful nature on the side of the protestors and its ability to apply economic pressure to targeted businesses. Sit-ins are a nonviolent direct-action protest tactic. Protestors at sit-ins occupied places in both public and private accommodations to put pressure on proprietors to enforce segregation laws. In doing so, those laws—applied to peaceful demonstrators who were simply seeking services provided to other customers—came under intense scrutiny.
See Article History Sit-in movement, nonviolent movement of the U. The sit-in, an act of civil disobediencewas a tactic that aroused sympathy for the demonstrators among moderates and uninvolved individuals.
African Americans later joined by white activistsusually students, would go to segregated lunch counters luncheonettessit in all available spaces, request service, and then refuse to leave when denied service because of their race.
In addition to creating disruptions and drawing unwanted publicity, the action caused economic hardship for the owners of the businesses, because the sit-in participants took up spaces that normally were filled by paying customers.
Although the first Sit ins noviolent sit-in began with just four participants, the attention paid to the protest created a movement that spread across the South in and to include 70, black and white participants.
It affected 20 states and resulted in the desegregation of many local businesses in those communities. A tactic similar to the sit-in, the sit-down strikehas been used by unions to occupy plants of companies that they were on strike against.
The lunch-counter sit-in that began the movement, however, took place in Greensboro, North Carolina, on the afternoon of February 1, They remained seated and were eventually asked to leave the premises; instead, they stayed until closing and returned the next day with more than a dozen other students.
The large supply of local students increased the effectiveness of the tactic; as demonstrators were arrested by local law enforcement and removed from the counter, others would take their place. Soon, as word about the Greensboro movement spread across the upper South, African American students from other historically black campuses began their own protests.
In places such as Salisbury, North Carolina; San AntonioTexas; and Chattanooga, Tennessee, local officials and business owners agreed to desegregate facilities after local sit-in movements took hold. The Woolworth in Greensboro was desegregated in July The sit-in movement destroyed a Sit ins noviolent of myths and stereotypes about Southern blacks that white segregationists had commonly used to support the Jim Crow system.
For example, with widespread and spontaneous demonstrations across the South, it became clear to observers that Southern blacks were not content with Jim Crow segregation.
The grassroots nature of the protest, arising locally from local black populations, also crushed the myth that all civil rights agitation came from outside the South.
Moreover, the nonviolent and courteous behaviour of the black sit-in protesters played well on local and national television and showed them to be responsible people. The cruelty of the segregated system was further exposed when local ruffians attempted to break up the sit-ins with verbal abuse, assault, and violence.
The local people who cooperated in sit-ins provided a community of black citizens willing to agitate for change and to suffer violence for a greater cause. Growth of the sit-in movement As the movement grew and more students, both black and white, became involved, civil rights organizations such as CORE and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC organized training sessions in nonviolence for participants.
Expecting violence from whites, arrest, and abuse, CORE held workshops to instruct the students in the tactics and ideas of nonviolence so as to increase the power and scope of the movement. Key to the success of the sit-in movement was the moral high ground that the participants took.
Their peaceful demonstrations for basic legal rights and respect increased favourable public opinion of their cause. Facing violence with nonviolent resistance required that the students take no action against white aggressors and police who physically harassed and assaulted them and arrested them on spurious charges.
Student participants came to understand the higher moral purpose of their own movement, and they practiced those principles in hundreds of small encounters across the upper and middle South. Knowledge of the sit-in movements spread rapidly across the South as the local nonviolent action took on a regional character.
At nearly every historically black college, students organized and met with local officials from CORE and SCLC in workshops and conferences on nonviolence. Those meetings often brought together hundreds of students from communities in several states, who then began to form coordinated efforts at civil rights action.
The creation of such communities of students led to greater coordination in the civil rights movement as the sit-ins phased out. Baker had long been active as a local leader in the civil rights movement, but she gained a new prominence with the student-led sit-in movement.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Demonstrating through nonviolence would force federal intervention, he argued, yet would permit the ultimate reconciliation between the races after the scourge of segregation had passed away.
We want the world to know that we no longer accept the inferior position of second-class citizenship. We are willing to go to jail, be ridiculed, spat upon, and even suffer physical violence to obtain First Class Citizenship.
Although the sit-in movement demonstrated success, the participants at the Raleigh conference clashed about the proper strategies for the civil rights movement. CORE and SCLC had assisted in the sit-in movement, but mostly after the fact, and Lawson saw the need for an organization focused on developing local leaders in local communities that could operate outside the mainstream organizations.
It began working to organize students and local black communities to advance the civil rights movement, often in tandem but sometimes at odds with the other civil rights movements and leaders. The legacy of the sit-in movement The sit-in movement produced a new sense of pride and power for African Americans.
By rising up on their own and achieving substantial success protesting against segregation in the society in which they lived, blacks realized that they could change their communities with local coordinated action.
The sit-in movement proved the inevitability of the end of the Jim Crow system. Most of the success in actual desegregation came in the upper Southern states, such as in cities in Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee.A sit-in or sit-down is a form of direct action that involves one or more people occupying an area for a protest, often to promote political, social, or economic change.
Civil Rights Movement Photographs The The Sit-Ins — Off Campus and Into Movement. Greensboro, NC. February 1st, leads workshop in Nonviolent Resistance.
This is the first time since the start of the sit-ins that Blacks are served at previously all-white counters in Nashville. At first, the students at the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins remained silent, as a contrast to the jeers of the whites around them and to avoid arrest for disorderly conduct.
The sit-in campaigns of and the ensuing creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) demonstrated the potential strength of grassroots militancy and enabled a new generation of young people to gain confidence in their own leadership.
Martin Luther King, Jr., described the student sit-ins as an “electrifying movement of Negro students [that] shattered the placid.
The Greensboro sit-ins were a spark in a blazing movement for civil rights, but they weren’t the first to happen the South. In April , Pauli Murray led some of her Howard University classmates in a “stool sitting” at the segregated Little Palace Cafeteria in Washington, D.C.
Sit-ins February 1, Agricultural and Technical College students walked in to a F. W. Woolworth company store in Greensboro in North Carolina to purchase some school supplies. Then they went to the lunch counter and asked to be serve.