Sit-in For Freedom
The Woolworth sit-in took place on February 1, 1960. Ezell Blair said he and his fellow students were moved to do something after the terrible murder of Emmett Till. Four young African-American men, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Billy Smith, Ezell Blair, and Clarence Henderson went to the Woolworth lunch counter and ordered some food. They then made their way to the "white only" lunch counter and sat down. As a result, the workers refused to give them their food, yet these four men patiently waited and repeated these actions for the next few days. On February 5th a crowd outside grew to 300 protesters. The media that captured this events publicized it all over, leading to similar protests in other cities. The sit-ins became an important act of civil disobedience, which meant passive actions and no violence. These African-Americans were not looking to pick a fight--all they wanted was freedom. As whites around them called them names, ordered them to leave, and tried to get them to fight back, the students continued to sit quietly. Despite sometimes violent reactions to the sit-ins, they eventually led to positive results. And so began a protest that would do more for the Civil Rights Movement than had been done over the past two years.