The The Sit-Ins — Off Campus and Into Movement

Greensboro, NC. February 1st, 1960

[© Greensboro News photo]

I'm going to sit at the welcome table...

[photographer unknown] February 1st, 1960, Greensboro NC. Four students from North Carolina A&T sit down at a "whites-only" Woolworth's lunch counter and ask to be served. This action by David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, and Joseph McNeil ignites a wave of student sit-ins and protests that flash like fire across the South. A fire for justice that no amount of beatings, jails, or firehoses, can extinguish. Within days sit-ins are occurring in dozens of Southern towns, and in the North supporting picket-lines spring up at Woolworth and Kress stores from New York to San Francisco.

[© News & Record photo]


Protests continue outside the segregated Mayfair Cafeteria, Greensboro, 1960.

[UPI photo]


In Harlem and many other northern communities, Movement supporters picket Woolworths and other chain stores to support the southern sit-ins.


Nashville, February, 1960.

[© Gerald Holly, Nashville Tennessean]

Just days after the Greensboro sit-in, students from American Baptist Theologic Seminary, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College, and Tennessee A&I begin confronting segregation in Nashville TN. They politely sit at "whites-only" lunch counters and restaurants. They are met with violence, brutality, and arrest. Hundreds are jailed, and thousands march in protests that continue for years.

Nashville Student Movement leader Diane Nash and Nashville Christian Leadership Conference head Rev. Kelly Miller Smith.

[Photographer unknown]

Before action comes training.
Rev. John Lawson (foreground) leads workshop in Nonviolent Resistance.


[© Jimmy Ellis, Nashville Tennessean]

Rather than serve people of color, this Walgreen's lunch-counter closes "in the interests of public safety." Other cafes and lunch-counters call the cops to arrest Blacks for the crime of ordering a cup of coffee in defiance of the segregation laws.

[Nashville Banner Archives]

[© Jimmy Ellis, Nashville Tennesean]


John Lewis, O.D. Hunt, and Dennis Gregory Foote, after their arrest at a downtown lunch counter.
[© Nashville Tennessean]



Students busted for protesting segregation fill the Nashville jail to overflowing.

[© Jimmy Ellis, Nashville Tennesean]




Fisk University student Jean Wynona Fleming behind bars in the Nashville jail.

[© Jack Corn, Nashville Tennessean]


Gasping for breath, James Bevel and John Lewis are trapped inside a Nashville restaurant filled with insecticide gas when the manager turns on a fumigating machine to disrupt a sit-in.

[Photographer unknown]



Dr. King addresses a mass meeting of 4,000 people after the bombing of attorney Alexander Looby's home. The next day they march.

[Photographer unknown]



C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, and Bernard LaFayette lead protest march in Nashville, 1960.

[© Jack Corn?, Nashville Tennessean]

C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, and sit-in leaders confront the Mayor on the Courthouse steps.

[© Gerald Holly, Nashville Tennessean]



Slowly, — too slowly, — victories are won at great cost. Matthew Walker, Peggy Alexander, Diane Nash and Stanley Hemphill eat lunch at the previously segregated counter of the Post House Restaurant in the Greyhound bus terminal. This is the first time since the start of the sit-ins that Blacks are served at previously all-white counters in Nashville.

[© Jack Gunter]
Guy Carawan leads singing at mass meeting, Fisk University, April, 1960.

[© Bill Goodman]


John Lewis of SNCC leads Nashville Christian Leadership Conference (NCLC) freedom marchers in 1963.


Tallahassee, FL. 1960

[Photographer unknown]

[Photographer unknown]


Pickets retrieving signs ripped from their hands by hostile whites.


Baltimore, MD. 1960

[Photographer Unknown]


Baltimore, MD. Morgan State students arrested for protests at the segregated Northwood Theater.


Virginia, 1960

[© Richmond Times-Dispatch]





Peoples Drug store, Arlington, VA. 1960. They closed the lunch counter rather than serve Black students.

[Photographer unknown]
[Photographer unknown]  
[© Richmond Times-Dispatch]



Richmond, VA

[© Richmond Times-Dispatch]

[Library of Congress photo]


Mrs. Ruth Tinsely, NAACP, under arrest.

Orangeburg, SC. March, 1960

[© Cecil J. Williams]
[© Cecil J. Williams]



Kress 5&10 store removes stools to prevent students from integrating the lunch counter with a sit-in, 1960. Orangeburg, SC.

[© Cecil J. Williams]



More than 1,000 students march against segregation, and in support of sit-ins at downtown lunch counters.

[© Cecil J. Williams]

[© Cecil J. Williams]


Police attack the marchers with tear gas and fire hoses, and force them into the "stockade."

[© Cecil J. Williams]


1960 - 1963
Sit-ins, swim-ins, read-ins, pray-ins, marches, and other protests erupt across the South at segregated restaurants, swimming pools, libraries, churches...

[photographer unknown]


Sit-in at Woolworths in Jacksonville, FL. 1960.

[AP Photo]


Janice Jackson, Evelyn Pierce, and Ethel Sawyer of the Tougaloo Nine, under arrest for the crime of reading in a "white only" libraray. Jackson, MS, 1961.


Durham, NC, 1960 and 1962


[© Durham Herald-Sun]


Rev. Douglas Moore, Dr. King, and Rev. Ralph Abernathy in Durham during the sit-ins of 1960. See Durham Sit-ins & Protests for background.

[© Durham Herald-Sun]


Picketing the Royal Ice Cream parlor, Durham, NC. 1962. See Royal Ice Cream Sit-in for background.

[© Durham Herald-Sun]



A counter-picket tries to stem the freedom tide.


[© Durham Herald-Sun]


Roy Wilkens of the NAACP and Floyd McKissckk & James Farmer of CORE leading protests at the Howard Johnson's restaurant in Durham, NC. 1962. See Freedom Highways Campaign in Durham and Greesboro for background.

[© Durham Herald-Sun]



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