How sit-ins worked and the benefits
On February 1, 1960, a new tactic was added to the peaceful activists' strategy. Sit ins were really beneficial for the civil rights movement.
The sit-ins were designed to highlight the problem of segregation by forcing Southern policemen to arrest polite, college students sitting quietly just trying to order some food.
How to do them
The instructions were simple: sit quietly and wait to be served. Often the participants would be threatened by local customers. Sometimes they would be pelted with food. Angry onlookers tried to provoke the students.
However not all people believed in the sit-ins In a 1961 Gallup Poll, 57% of those who responded said the protests hurt the civil rights movement.
Example of Sucessful Sit-ins
On February 1, 1960, a new tactic was added to the civil right movement. Four African American college students walked up to a whites-only lunch counter at the local Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina, and asked for coffee. When service was refused, the students sat patiently.
On Febuary 16, 1960 Salisbury's sit-in at the Woolworth's Luncheonette this sit in happened 15 days after the four College students sat in at Woolworths store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The students of Virginia Union University, a black university, wanted to do something to contribute to the sit-in movement. The sit in was led by students Frank Pinkston and Charles Sherrod, who were followed more than 200 Virginia Union students and faculty. They marched from their campus to Richmond’s downtown shopping district on February 20, 1960.
The group sat at the lunch counters of the department stores, where they were denied service but refused to leave their seats until the stores closed.
One of the last known sit-ins took place in April 28, 1960 in Dallas, Texas at Paul Quinn College. This sit-in was the last chance for the (CORE) to make their name known.
As the sit-ins evolved the students instead formed their own group (CORE) which soon emerged as the most creative and influential civil rights organization in the '60s. It produced a generation of black leaders, including John Lewis, Julian Bond, Bob Moses, Stokely Carmichael, Marion Barry and many others.
"Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity." (Martin Luther King Jr.)