Historically, Black college students have used sit-ins to challenge the systemic discrimination we often faced in our communities. However, these sit-ins also taught us valuable lessons about unity.
#1 The Greensboro Four
It all started with four Black North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) students tired of not being allowed to eat at a lunch counter. These students’ actions encouraged more NC A&T students to sit in the store each day until it finally served Black people. Their actions helped spark a movement of statewide protests.
#2 The Tougaloo Nine
In 1961, nine Tougaloo College students just wanted to sit and read in the city’s main library, but they were arrested. Hundreds of students from Jackson State College marched to the jail in protest. A class action lawsuit forced the library to desegregate. However, integration wasn’t the win. It was the ability for our people to gain more access to knowledge freely.
#3 The San Francisco State Strike
The 1968 student strike on San Francisco State’s campus was the longest in U.S. history, fighting to establish the first Black Studies department in the nation. The strike helped spark hundreds of Black American study programs in schools across the country.
Whether you’re a college student or not, these protests showed that our people have always been willing to unify to fight for our liberation through history. How do they inspire you to address problems in your community today?