Tennessee

"I was too young and stupid to be scared. We did this because it was just something we had to do at the time."
Vernon Jones 5

 

Lunch Counter Sit-Ins

February 1960

February 1960 saw a growing conflict between the white and black school students in the still-segregated Chattanooga Public School system. The archives of The Chattanooga Times show a rapid and significant growth in size of the protests, from two hundred to five hundred protesters in a single day. 1 Additionally, there are similarities between these February sit-ins and other states. For example, the African American students took books and studied and, in their interviews, spoke about wanting the protests to remain peaceful. 2 The benefits of the catalog with which these newspaper clippings are from is that they include the context of the sit-ins, reactions from the community, and interviews and actions of the protesters and counter-protesters. However, unlike many other protests the articles claim that some of the protesters were elementary students, despite none of the pictures in the newspaper clippings appearing to show anyone so young. 3 The other photos from these February 1960s sit-ins in that were not from this catalogue show many students outside of the sit-in venues, including shorter children, but few still look below the age of ten. 4


Image Credit in Order of Appearance
"2016.004.004.b(1)." Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa. Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.
"2016.004.004.c(1)." Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa. Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.
"2016.004.004.l(2)." Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa. Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.
"Police in the Street Monitoring Protesters on February 1960 Sit-In in Chattanooga, Tennessee." Digital image. Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.
"Students Gather at Protester Locations on February 1960 Sit-In in Chattanooga, Tennessee." Digital image. Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.
 
We didn’t want to disappoint our parents, but we were willing to break the law if we had to.
Moses Freeman 6

Videos

The following videos will provide you with the voices of those involved in events of the Civil Rights Movement in Tennessee.

Elaine Lee Turner discusses her experiences protesting in the Civil Rights Movement with her family, which became known as the "Most Arrested Civil Rights Family." She begins with the activism motivation beginning with her older sister, a student at the historically black local college.

Featured Image Citation
"Police Hose Protestors at February 1960 Sit-In in Chattanooga, Tennessee." Digital image. Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.
  1. "Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa." Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.; Specifically: C1, C2, D1, D2, L1, and L2.
  2. "Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa." Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.; Specifically: B1 and B2.
  3. "Chattanooga News-Free Press Collection, February 5-February 26, 1960, Catalog No. 2016.004.004.a-aa." Chattanooga History Center. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://chattanooga.pastperfectonline.com/archive/4CDE5151-C2C1-438A-888C-512417512147.; Specifically: B1 and B2.
  4. Arbuckle, Alex Q. "February 1960 Chattanooga Sit-ins: Courageous High Schoolers Take on Angry Mobs and Fire Hoses." Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.; For example the boy in long black coat in the lower left of the image in front of the car. Out of the majority of the discernable faces he's the only one not surrounded by other high school students, as seen across the street in letterman and leather jackets.
  5. Arbuckle, Alex Q. "February 1960 Chattanooga Sit-ins: Courageous High Schoolers Take on Angry Mobs and Fire Hoses." Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.
  6. Arbuckle, Alex Q. "February 1960 Chattanooga Sit-ins: Courageous High Schoolers Take on Angry Mobs and Fire Hoses." Retronaut via Mashable. February 19, 2017. Accessed April 14, 2017. http://mashable.com/2017/02/19/chattanooga-sit-ins/#dNiaRz5jD8qr.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.