Non violent sit in protests

Four college students sitting down at Woolworth's counters to protest

The Greensboro sit in protests were sit ins in the 1960s, where African Americans sat at lunch counters of restaurants until they were served.

After the success of the Greensboro sit ins, thousands more students joined the non violent protest in places such as South Carolina, Alabama, and Baltimore. All across the country whites and blacks alike joined the movement and sat at lunch and restaurant counters simply asking to be served.

Many of these sit ins were in or around college campuses, as the students needed a quick place to eat in between classes. They simply wanted some coffee or a burger, and could not get this at many segregated restaurants.

Black student being swarmed by white men insulting him based on race

Participants of sit ins would be abused by white customers but could not fight back, in fear of being arrested for assault..

Sit ins are non violent ways of protest employed in the 1960s
The Greensboro sit ins targeted Woolworth's, a department and food serving chain restaurant popular in the 1900s.

Restaurant counters such as the one below often did not permit black customers to be served.

An ice cream service counter in the 1960s.

Black students felt that they should be equally treated in all aspects of life, and were often discriminated against in restaurants. They figured if they could sit at counters for hours at a time the restaurant would lose customers, and eventually draw attention to the issue of civil equality.

Participants in sit ins were abused by white bystanders.

The idea of the protests was to be peaceful and nonviolent, but draw attention to their cause. When the black participants were abused, they did not resist, because they knew that they would be charged by the police.

The protest gained publicity throughout the country
We had played over in our minds possible scenarios, and to the best of our abilities we had determined how we were gonna conduct ourselves given those scenarios. But we did walk in that day — I guess it was about four-thirty — and we sat at a lunch counter where blacks never sat before. And people started to look at us. The help, many of whom were black, looked at us in disbelief too. They were concerned about our safety. We asked for service, and we were denied, and we expected to be denied. We asked why couldn't we be served, and obviously we weren't given a reasonable answer and it was our intent to sit there until they decided to serve us. — Joseph McNeil.
"All of Africa will be free before we can get a lousy cup of coffee." -- James Baldwin [16]

Cozzens, Lisa. "Sit-Ins." Civil Rights Movement 1955-1965. Watson.org, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2017

The Sit-In Movement." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2017.

Hartford, Bruce. "1960." Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement -- History & Timeline, 1960. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017.

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