SIT-IN MOVEMENT The so-called sit-in movement began on February 1, 1960 when four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro refused to relinquish their seats at a local dimestore lunch counter after being refused service. During the next three months, thousands of black students, encouraged by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), were "trained" in the technique of "sitting-in," the general rule being "sit tight, and refuse to fight." These students formed the core of a new civil rights organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which encouraged sit-ins, wade-ins and kneel-ins throughout the South in restaurants, swimming pools, churches and other places of public accommodation which practiced racial segregation. Notwithstanding the inevitable heckling, harassment, beatings and arrests that ensued, the students patiently and nonviolently stood their ground. By the end of the year, these tactics were beginning to bear fruit. Slowly but surely, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, movie theatres and a host of similar establishments in the South began lowering their barriers against servicing Afro-Americans.
See also: CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY and STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE.