Nashville sit-ins begin
February 13, 1960
The Civil Rights Movement occurred during the 1950s and 60s when Black Americans began fighting for the equality owed to them as citizens. Particularly in the South, racist Jim Crow laws prescribed segregated facilities in nearly all aspects of public life, and ensured that Blacks were isolated from white bus seats, schools, and even luncheon countertops. Soon, leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and other Civil Rights activists began practicing nonviolent protest to demand their rights. Setting a brave example was the Nashville Christian Leadership Conference, a handful of Black college students that demanded service at the city’s most popular lunch counters. On February 16th, 1960, around 12:40 pm in Woolworth’s, Kress’s, and McClellan’s, the students made purchases at the department stores, sat at the dominantly white lunch counters, and refused to leave despite heckling and assault from enraged White customers. As a result of the nonviolent demonstrations, Nashville became one of the first cities to begin desegregating its public facilities.
Do you think it was hard for the college students to perform the sit-in? Why? Why do you think nonviolent protesting is effective?