Sit-ins By: Justin Diede

In August of 1939, Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized an event were African Americans would go into the 'Whites Only' side of a segregated library in Alexandria, Virginia. While there, the African Americans would act like any normal person would in a library to prove they are just like White People and deserved the same rights as the White Americans had. The challenging part of this whole ordeal is the African American protesters had to maintain a peaceful demeanor even while they were being physically and verbally abused by White's who strongly supported segregation.

This is one of the first historical recordings of a sit-in.

Soon after Tucker organized his sit-in, many other African Americans took it upon themselves to organize their own. Sit-ins started happening all over the country: Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, Wichita, Greensboro etc.

Greensboro Sit-in

There was one main change between Samuel's sit-in and every other sit-in after Samuel's. The sit-ins after the Alexandria, Virginia sit-in took place in diners and restaurants so more people would be present to view the African Americans peaceful protesting. Of corse this change in location brought about a change in the retaliation the protester received; instead of only books being flung at them: food, hot coffee, plates and knifes would have to suffice.

Sit-ins were one way African American's peacefully gained their rights in the 60's.

Over the course of the next fifty years, protest's have declined into violence and lies.

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Peaceful protests earned the African Americans their rights. The violence of the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest and the lies this protest was based on (that the Sioux tribe were the people who wanted the pipeline diverted or removed) earned these protesters nothing. The protest failed with the only out come being an even more strained relationship between the North Dakota people and the innocent Sioux tribe, millions of dollars lost in property damage, and months of delayed progress on the DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline).

Firefighters push violent protesters back with a fire hose

If the DAPL protesters wanted to have success, they should have looked back into the past. They should have followed the example of the African American's and their simple idea of peaceful protests. Although the method of a sit-in would not have been relevant for the DAPL protesters, the idea behind the sit-ins, peaceful protests, would have worked better then the violence that the DAPL protesters preformed.

Work Cited

1939 Library Sit-In. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Leonard, A. (2016, November 09). 30 Powerful Photos From the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

R. (2017, January 21). North Dakota Tribe Formally Calls on Pipeline Protesters to Disperse. Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

The Sit-In Movement. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

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