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Conceptions of Law During the Civil Rights Movement

Winter 2012

Researching Law, Vo. 23, No. 1

On February 1, 1960, four undergraduates from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina sat down at the lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina. The students were Black; the lunch counter was “Whites only.” But when the store manager asked them to leave, the young men stayed put. So began the student sit-in movement, a non-violent protest campaign that spread and gathered force throughout the South that spring, injecting new energy into the struggle for African American equality and eventually leading lunch counters across the South to abandon their segregationist policies. ABF Research Professor Christopher Schmidt details his research on the origins of the sit-ins movement in this edition of Researching Law.