The Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In and the Movement It Inspired
The 1963 Jackson Woolworth’s sit-in has come to be largely recognized by a set of photographs capturing the violent tension between the raw virulence of racism and the defiance of visionaries. While the event’s importance has been recognized as sparking to life the civil rights movement in Jackson, it has failed to be studied in its historical context. Filling this gap by incorporating both biography and history, author M.J. O’Brien crafts a gripping narrative through the eyes of those participating in this harrowing sit-in experience.
Rev. Ed King, who became the chaplain at Tougaloo College during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, remembers the day clearly:
“Store officials soon roped off the whole lunch counter except where the three students sat. The Colored Lunch Counter (with only 30 seats) was also soon closed. For the next 45 minutes, the demonstrators sat quietly at the deserted, darkened counter… The Jackson Daily News managed to define the events of this first 45 minutes as ‘trouble.’ In the next two hours there would be more ‘trouble’ here than in any sit-in in the history of the Movement.”
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