Throughout history, black lives picked and picked away at more freedom. The movement started microscopic and with small actions, and eventually turned into what it is today- an organization that refuses to be ignored. This ever changing movement has all different types of retaliations such sit ins and protests, but one aspect stays consistent- and that is the fight for justice. This organizations started with ordinary people that just wanted to see change and that is what makes it so incredible. These simple citizens saw they injustices they were facing and instead of waiting for change, they became the change. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) is an organization that provided young black people a chance to share their voice. This all started in 1960 and sparked from the Greensboro sit ins. This absolutely was a defining moment and more young people made the realization that young black people can have a voice and they do make an effect on the community. A few months later, the founding of SNCC was established. The significance of the sit- ins in Greensboro was the founding of SNCC- two extremely defining moments in black history. From gathering all information from primary resources and previous knowledge, the sit ins in Greensboro followed by the founding of SNCC holds a great significance in the timeline of Black Lives Matter.
February 1960, Greensboro North Carolina- almost sixty years ago, an extremely significant event occurred. A simple action of just wanting to be served at diner and sit in the seats was too much to ask for. These four college students absolutely refused to take no as an answer. The seats were not only for whites; they needed to be for blacks too. They sat in the diner seats until closing time and never got served. This prevented whites from sitting down and getting served- therefore giving the diner their business, so they saw this as the best alternative. Their actions spread like wildfire. The four of them quickly became 27 the next day, which then grew to 63 the third day. All of these protesters took up almost every seat so the diner got no business- this was change. The protesters included four women from Bennett College, the historically known black women’s college near A&T, who had been strategically planning about direct action protests in the community over the past year. The media and public news sources did not brush these occasions off to the side. The New York Times wrote an article called “Heed their Rising Voices” which basically called to everyone and anyone to support the movement- the more voices, the better. “In Tallahassee, Atlanta, Nashville, Savannah, Greensboro, Memphis, Richmond, Charlotte, and a host of other cities in the South, young American teen-agers, in face of the entire weight of official state apparatus and police power, have boldly stepped forth as protagonists of democracy. Their courage and amazing restraint have inspired millions and given a new dignity to the cause of freedom” This one action that started with four people started mass protests in the south that spread like wildfire. By April 1960, 70 southern cities had sit-ins of their own. Direct-action sit-ins made public what Jim Crow wanted to hide–black resistance to segregation. This public resistance made the foundations of SNCC.
This huge event of sit ins across the south sparked the founding of SNCC. In April 1960, A woman who was apart of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) saw all of these great changes happening so she decided to do something great about it. Ella Baker thought that protest leaders should meet one another face to face and persuaded Martin Luther King to have his organization put up $800 to bring them together for a conference. She believed truly in her heart that this was a huge break for the black lives movement, and she would do whatever it took to bring these great leaders together. After this meeting SNCC was born. Their number one concern and value was founded on nonviolence. They wanted to use their intelligence, minds, and hearts- not violence. These young black people were educated and ready to peacefully make their stance. Having all these leaders in one place sharing ideas and insight was the best action they could take, they could feel their presence getting stronger and stronger by the minute. “We felt a real kinship with the students who were working in other cities, to bring about the same things that we were.” It was like magic when their ideas meshed together, described Diane Nash. The Southwide Youth Leadership Conference had typed up a few regulations and starting foundations of SNCC. From this primary source, their values include nonviolence, open mindedness to every idea from anyone, and going to jail rather than accepting bail. These virtues are strong, and everyone who was participating at this time was anything but safe. To know that they were putting the little freedom that they had on the line for others to experience more freedom is more than honorable. After building these foundations, there was no stopping this movement from truly taking off.
From ideas to sit ins to building a foundation- there was no doubt that young black people had voices and opinions they needed to share. It all started in Greensboro when four college students just simply wanted to eat. Once they were denied this human right- they stopped at nothing to make this big. Once these leaders had followers and supporters behind their cause- more people took a stand. Across the south it spread like wildfire to make a change. This wasn’t a matter of not being served anymore- this was something bigger, much bigger. After the Committee when SNCC was formed it was founded on it’s morals of nonviolence. They believed success was persuasive and there was no need for violence. Ever since then they have made leaps and bounds that all started from these ordinary college students that had thoughts and ideas on change. We all stand for change still today and everyday we pick more and more for equality as we move forward to the future.
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