The Sit In Movement

633 Words2 Pages
By the late 1950s, the African American community was ready to fight for the major social change that it had always deserved. In the South, Jim Crow legislation had mandated "separate but equal" treatment for African Americans since 1876. African Americans were not given equality, however, and leaders emerged from the community to push for African American civil rights. In the effort to desegregate public buildings and transportation, people began to hold sit-ins. These involved peacefully occupying a space in a place such as a hotel, bus, or restaurant as an act of protest. Some early forms of the sit-in movement were the Freedom Rides, which were developed to test a 1946 Supreme Court decision declaring that segregation on interstate transportation was unconstitutional.1
In 1947, the civil rights group known as the Congress of Racial Equality organized a Journey of Reconciliation, sending eight black men and eight white men on buses across the South. Beginning on April 9, 1947, the riders, which included Eugene Stanley from North Carolina A&T University, set out on buses from Washington, D.C. The Journey of Reconciliation gained national attention when members of the group were arrested in Asheville, Durham, and Charlotte, N.C. for trying to integrate bus seating. On June 23, 1957, seven African American activists, led by Judge Floyd McKissick and Rev. Douglas Moore, conducted a sit-in at the Royal Ice Cream Parlor in Durham. While the men were arrested for trespassing, their acts inspired similar events. On February 1, 1960, Joe McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr., Franklin McCain and David Richmond, four students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University staged a sit-in at a whites-only lunch counter at a Woolworth'...

... middle of paper ...

...Nation of Islam, advocated the belief of "any means necessary" in fighting back against white violence. The non-violent resistance was dealt another heavy blow by the assassination of Dr. King in 1968. Politically, the Civil Rights movement lost steam following Dr. King's assassination, and integration was left in the hands of the US population.1

In conclusion, the Civil Rights Movement led to removal of barriers to voting, the blacks freedom to hold political office. The movement also ended legal segregation, ended discrimination in housing, school segregation and gave the African Americans greater pride in their racial identity. It broke down many walls and helped African Americans to live peacefully and free, they were finally getting what they always wanted and it was nowhere near easy but they managed to succeed after everything that they had been through.
Open Document