60 years ago, on February 9, 1960, an estimated 200 Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) students participated in sit-in protests at eight Uptown Charlotte whites-only lunch counters and restaurants. Inspired by the NCA&T students in Greensboro, the JCSU students sat down at lunch counters at Woolworths, Kress, McLellan’s, Liggetts Drug, and W.T. Grant. At Charlotte's two largest home-grown retailers, students sat down or attempted to sit down at Belk's luncheonette and cafeteria, Ivey's coffee shop, and Tulip Terrace restaurant.
In this oral history clip, hear Charles Jones, civil rights activist and JCSU alumni, recount how he learned about the Greensboro sit-ins, the JCSU student council meeting the day before the protest, and the protest itself:
Johnson C. Smith University students at lunch counter sit-in, 1960. From “Remembering Charlotte” by Ryan L. Sumner, page 118.
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Information taken from:
UNC Charlotte Special Collections on Instagram - @unccspeccoll
“We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.” – Frederick Douglass