Nashville Student Movement

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Nashville Student Movement

This shows that only whites were allowed to eat there.

Lasting Impact/Why

The Nashville Student Movement took places between these specific years 1960-1964. The Nashville sit-ins, which lasted from February 13 to May 10, 1960, were part of a nonviolent direct action campaign to end racial segregation at lunch counters in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The sit-in campaign, coordinated by the Nashville Student Movement and Nashville Christian Leadership Council, was notable for its early success and emphasis on disciplined nonviolent. Over the course of the campaign, sit-ins were staged at numerous stores in Nashville's central business district. Sit-in participants, who consisted mainly of black college students, were often verbally or physically attacked by white onlookers. Despite their refusal to retaliate, over 150 students were eventually arrested for refusing to vacate store lunch counters when ordered to do so by police. At trial, the students were represented by a group of 13 lawyers, headed by Z. Alexander Looby. On April 19, Looby's home was bombed; however, neither he nor his wife was injured. Later that day, nearly 4000 people marched to City Hall to confront Mayor Ben West about the escalating violence. When asked if he believed the lunch counters in Nashville should be desegregated, West agreed that they should. After subsequent negotiations between the store owners and protest leaders, an agreement was reached during the first week of May. On May 10, six downtown stores began serving black customers at their lunch counters for the first time.

Racist violence against the sit-ins escalates with harassment and beatings on February 27. The violent hecklers are not arrested, instead 81 nonviolent protesters are hauled off to jail. The city tries to intimidate the students and break the boycott with mass arrests that fill the jails to overflowing. Jailing the students fails to break the movement, the united students and community hang tough. When the 81 students are convicted of "Disorderly Conduct" they refuse to pay the fine, choosing instead to serve their time in jail.The Blacks were doing all of this hard work just be free to eat anywhere in Nashville. they eventually accomplished that long time goal then eventually let the whole U.S.A completely racially free.


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Where did your event happen?

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was founded in early 1960 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Nashville. It’s propose to capitalize on the success of a surge of sit-ins in Southern college towns. It also was where black students refused to leave restaurants in which they were denied service based on their race. In the years following, SNCC strengthened its efforts in community organization and supported Freedom Rides in 1961, along with the March on Washington in 1963, and agitated for the Civil Rights Act (1964). In 1966 SNCC officially threw its support behind the broader protest of the Vietnam War

When did it happen?

Student Movement

This is a pciture of the Nashville Student Marching down the streets

This is a picture of Students from Nashville eating at a dinner fianlly

This is a picture of the cops arresting the Student of Nashville for Marching

A quote from Martin Luther King Jr.


Many people were involved their names are Horace Julian Bond, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, John Lewis, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bob Moses, Ella Baker, and Stokely Carmichael Lawson is expelled from Vanderbilt and other student leaders are threatened with reprisals. The sit-ins continue. The Mayor offers a "compromise" — divide the lunch counters into separate Black and white sections. NCLC and the students reject his proposal — separate is not equal.


Many events happened during the four dark and happy years Some events like Segregation,Student Movements and freedom rides etc. Segregation is is a system that keeps different groups separate from each other, either through physical dividers or using social pressures and laws. The Student movements were when students went around down marching holding hundreds of posters to let anybody be able to eat anywhere in Nashville Many people were arrested. They got out because the whites said the pop of the jail was just too much and they charged money. The blacks said no because they were not going to pay for something that is not wrong. So they were let out for free just decrease the pop of the prison. The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4, 1961 when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the Deep South. They intended to test the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional.

Additional Info

On February 1, 1960, a group of black college students from North Carolina A'T University refused to leave a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina where they had been denied service. Over the next decade, civil rights activism moved beyond lunch counter sit-ins. In this violently changing political climate, SNCC struggled to define its purpose as it fought white oppression. Out of SNCC came some of today's black leaders, such as former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, Congressman John Lewis and NAACP chairman Julian Bond. Together with hundreds of other students, they left a lasting impact on American history. Before the students in Nashville had a chance to figure-out their plans, events elsewhere brought renewed urgency to the effort. During the first week of February 1960, a small sit-in demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina grew into a significant protest with over eighty students participating by the third day. Although similar demonstrations had occurred previously in other cities, this was the first to attract substantial media attention and public notice. When Lawson's group met the subsequent Friday night, about 500 new volunteers showed up to join the cause. Although Lawson and other adult organizers argued for delay, the student leaders insisted that the time had come for action. The genius and fearlessness of Rev. James Lawson and the young men and women who followed him are the touchstones of this pivotal chapter of the American civil rights struggle. Inspired by his studies in India of Gandhi's work, as well as the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lawson begins in 1960 to train black and white college students in nonviolent methods to desegregate downtown Nashville, Tennessee. The students stage a sit-in at segregated city lunch counters in February 1960. First they are ignored, but when they return again and again, they are beaten and jailed. The resulting outrage in the African American community leads to a boycott of downtown stores; many whites stay away as well, disturbed by the brutality and disruption. Business leaders apply pressure for a political solution, and bombing of a prominent black lawyer's house prompts the students to march on city hall and confront the mayor. After he is forced to admit that segregation is wrong, Nashville begins to desegregate.In 1960, young black college students face a dilemma. While their schools teach the constitutional right of equality under the law, their off-campus surroundings in the heavily segregated city of Nashville starkly refute that premise. State-sponsored "Jim Crow" laws govern many aspects of life, and Nashville's black and white communities are kept apart. Enter James Lawson, a young black minister from Ohio who understands Gandhi's nonviolent legacy and gives the students the organization, discipline, and strategies they sorely need. Very few people take Gandhi as seriously as Lawson does. Growing up in the 1930s and 1940s, he follows the work of Gandhi in the newspapers. After spending several years in India studying with Gandhi's disciples, he returns to the United States in 1956, determined to share Gandhi's methods with African Americans.


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