Sit-ins: Atlanta, Ga.


In March 1960, students representing Atlanta's six historically black colleges organized a series of sit-ins at area lunch counters to protest the city's legally sanctioned segregation. Local retailers subsequently agreed to negotiate with representatives from the recently formed student group Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR), but neither side evinced a willingness to compromise. Protests expanded when negotiations stalled, and student leaders persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to participate in a bid for greater publicity. After more than a year of demonstrations and failed negotiations, members of the city's black political establishment met privately with white business leaders, and negotiated a settlement wherein area lunch counters would be desegregated after the court-ordered integration of city schools the following fall. Although they protested the decision on campus, student leaders ultimately submitted to the settlement, and Atlanta's lunch counters were desegregated in September 1961.

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