In this WSB newsfilm clip from February 13, 1960, demonstrators with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) picket a F.W. Woolworth store and a S.H. Kress store in support of the North Carolina student sit-ins in New York City, New York.
The clip begins with a sign for a F.W. Woolworth store. Demonstrators walk back-and-forth outside of the store carrying signs with the slogans, "Support North Carolina students," "End lunch-counter discrimination," "Don't shop at Woolworth," and "New York CORE Congress of Racial Equality." Among the interracial group of picketers are white women in fur coats. A white policeman stands in front of the door of the store, and later an African American woman leaves the store holding a paper bag and followed by two children.
Next more demonstrators picket an S.H. Kress building with picket signs with slogans "Protest against segregation" and "Stop discrimination." A policeman surveys the demonstrators. Another policeman watches as a white woman hands out flyers. There is a break in the clip and then the camera shows a room with people sitting at rows of tables in what may be a library or a legislative chamber.
The direct action technique of sitting at a lunch counter until given service was used by a handful of African Americans during the 1950s to protest segregation. In 1958, sit-ins were held by local chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Wichita, Kansas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Both campaigns were eventually successful; in Oklahoma, where the sit-ins spread to Enid and Tulsa, nearly forty stores had integrated their lunch counters by the end of the year. Sit-in campaigns the following year in Miami, Florida and Saint Louis, Missouri were not as successful. In St. Louis, stores chose to remove their lunch counters rather than integrate. On February 1, 1960, four African American students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina sat down at a lunch counter in a F.W. Woolworth's store and declined to leave when they were not served. The next day, several more African American students sat down at the same lunch counter and again refused to leave when they were refused service. As word of the direct action protests against segregation spread, the number of African American students conducting similar protests grew and spread to other communities, first in North Carolina, and then around the country. CORE began conducting negotiations with officials at the corporate headquarters of Kress and Woolworth, urging them to end segregation in their Southern lunch counters. Both companies declined, claiming a policy of noninterference with local customs. On February 13, CORE organized a thirty-person picket of the Woolworth store on 125th Street in Harlem and East Harlem Reform democrats picketed a Kress' store on 106th Street. By the fall of 1961, over one hundred communities in every Southern and border state had experienced sit-ins, and over seventy thousand demonstrators had been arrested. The excitement and determination of young civil rights workers led to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) holding a conference for the students at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960, where the students formed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), an organization influential in the Civil Rights movement for the next several years.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of picketers from the Congress of Racial Equality outside of an F.W. Woolworth store and a S.H. Kress store demonstrating in support of the North Carolina student sit-ins, in New York, New York, 1960 February 13, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0744, 28:44/29:20, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.