Although organized black resistance to discrimination began in the nineteenth century, in the 1960s, Americas youth was inspired to create new forms of civil rights activism, such as the sit-ins of black and white college students at "white-only" lunch counters. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) directed the student sit-in movement and organized protests in Southern communities.
In 1961, SNCC participated in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation in bus stations across the South and led to the beating and arrest of black and white Freedom Riders in Alabama and Mississippi. SNCC and the Committee on Racial Equality (CORE) also devoted a great deal of energy to voter registration campaigns in the rural South, where they faced daily threats of violence and where several civil rights workers were murdered. After failing to attract national attention to these atrocities, SNCC developed the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project, which recruited Northern whites to work on voter registration. Jewish women and men were disproportionately represented among those who went south. The participation of white youth in this project, and particularly the murder of three participants in Mississippi, drew national attention to the problem. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 resulted from these and other tireless efforts.
For a profile of one of these young activists, go
to JWAs Women Who Dared exhibit at http://jwa.org/exhibits/wwd/
1. What was the immediate goal of the sit-in in which Judy Frieze participated?
2. How was this sit-in part of a larger campaign to achieve racial justice?
3. Did the legal system seem to help or hurt the cause of racial equality in the South?
4. Would you have joined the Freedom Riders? Why or why not?