Nonviolent Protest: Sit In's A sit IN is a group of people that occupies a place as a form of protest.

The History of Sit In's: Sit In's are a form of non violent protest that was first created by four college students. Their goal was to take up seats in the diner so white customers could not sit there and the diner would loose money. They asked politely to be served food, but were told to leave. They sat there and took the beating of white customers without retaliating. This first action sparked many other sit In's across the south.

Why are Sit In's no longer used today? Although Sit In's were a great nonviolent way to protest in America fifty years ago, America has changed. People are no longer refused food at restaurants. There is not enough segregation in America to serve one race or gender food but not the other. Not only is this method no longer effective, but it is also impractical. People can be beat, and seriously injured while performing a sit in. The world is changing so ways to protest must change as well.

Quotes: "The key signi´Čücance of the student movement lies in the fact that from its inception, everywhere, it has combined direct action with non-violence," (King Jr. 1960). "'The student movement focused on eradicating other vestiges of Jim Crow and experimented with new forms of nonviolent direct action. There were 'kneel-In's' in churches, 'sleep-ins' in motel lobbies, 'swim-ins' in pools, 'wade-In's' on restricted beaches, 'read-In's' at public libraries, 'play-ins' in parks, even 'watch-ins' in movie theaters...'" (Sitkoff 1960). These quotes show the vast importance of the students who sat at the bar. Not only did these boys change the resturaunts, but they sparked action. They sparked change.

This is a picture of a sit-in with people harassing the people sitting. They are dumping ketchup, mustard, and anything else they can find on the people sitting in the seats. This image shows how calm the people sitting are, and how vile the people standing are.

This video does a great job describing the first actions done to creat this widely known form of protesting. Take note of the four college students goals, and where they ended up. Not only did they continue the pressure on the segregation laws, they also changed the restaurant, and set an example for other restaurants.

First person account of the first sit in (fictional): I was watching the television a few nights ago, and heard about the four brave students who stood up for themselves, for all of us. They stood up for equality and freedom. They inspired me. The next day I decided to join them. There were now about sixty of us waiting in line all hoping to get to sub-in for one of the people at the bar. We saw and heard what the white people were doing to them. We all knew we needed to get a bad shirt so we wouldn't ruin good clothes. After waiting for a while, I began to ask myself, are there any good white people? But soon after, I saw one elderly woman. She was probably in her 70's. She came to each and everyone of us, and asked us our names. She was writing them down, so at first I thought she was working for the police or something. However, she talked with each and every one of us, and when I asked what she was doing with the names, she simply replied "Keeping track of the people I look up to."

In Nashville, February 27, 1960, many African American students conducted a Sit-In protest inspired by the Greensboro sit-in. This first sit-in was remarkeble as it remained relatively nonviolent, however this Nashville sit-In was different. The African American students were brutally attacked by a group of white teenagers. Police arrived at the restaurant, but instead of arresting the white attackers, the officers took the black protesters into custody. This minor setback did not end the protests, instead more and more people were inspired to continue the sit-in.


Works Cited

"Greensboro Sit-Ins." I Fights for Rights and Freedoms. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2017. <>.

Jones, Brian. "The Lunch-counter Sit-ins." N.p., 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 13 Jan. 2017. <>.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. Digital image. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. National Geographic, 2016. Web. 13 Jan. 2017. <>.

"The Sit-In Movement." Independence Hall Association. U.S. History, 2008. Web. 13 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Woolworth's Lunch Counter." Woolworth's Lunch Counter - Separate Is Not Equal. Smithsonian, n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2017. <>.

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