Talk:Nashville sit-ins

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Some web references[edit]

Here's the obvious stuff from Google: [1] [2] [3] [4]
Here's a more deatiled article from the Nashville Globe and Independent: [5]

The only one that I've actually used as a reference so far is the first one. Kaldari 02:41, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Date of first workshop[edit]

Although many sources say that the non-violence workshops started in 1959, the first one was actually held in March 1958. They were not held regularly, however, until 1959. Here are some sources for reference:

Harding: When did you start organizing these workshops in Nashville?
Lawson: Glenn Smiley and I did a workshop sometime in the early Spring of 1958 for the Nashville Christian Leadership Council...
- Excerpts from an Interview with Jim Lawson

On March 26-28, 1958, NCLC members held a workshop on nonviolent tactics against segregation. - Nashville Sit-ins (1959-1961)

Kaldari 02:40, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Nashville Christian Leadership Conference or Council?[edit]

It seems almost an equal number of sources use "Conference" as use "Council". The Tennessean uses both.[6][7] Tennessee State University uses both.[8][9] The Nashville Scene uses "Conference". The Nashville Public Library uses "Council".[10] Google favors "Conference" over "Council" (148 hits vs 88 hits). However, primary sources such as James Lawson and the First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill use "Council".[11][12] Kaldari 03:20, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Both the Vanderbilt University collection of the Kelly Miller Smith papers and TSU's biography of Smith say "Nashville Christian Leadership Council." There is interference, I think, from the "Southern Christian Leadership Conference," of which Smith was also a member. Iamvered 21:48, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

After the bombing[edit]

"Diane Nash then asked the mayor if he believed that lunch counters in the city should be desegregated. West answered, "Yes", then added, "That's up to the store managers, of course.""

I just watched a 1960 interview with Diane Nash on PBS, and she says she also asked him if he believed it was right to "discriminate against another person based solely on their race or skin colour" and he replied in the negative. Another contemporary interview with the mayor showed him reaffirming his answer as a moral decision that he would make again.

After reading this article (with no other sources) I'd probably paint mayor West as one of the bad guys, which he may not have been. I'll leave page edits to people with more knowledge on the subject though.

The video is at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/eyesontheprize/story/04_nonviolence.html#video

It's definitely an interesting issue. Ben West clearly agreed that segregation was morally wrong, but he seemed quite reluctant to do anything about it legally. Whether or not this made him a "bad guy" is rather subjective. C. T. Vivian, for example, was extremely critical of the mayor's lack of leadership on race issues. In the end, most historians credit the boycott and behind-the-scenes negotiations between the merchants and student leaders as the deciding factors in ending segregation in Nashville, although I'm sure Ben West's moral support had some influence. Please feel free to add more information to the article about Ben West's role in the story. The article right now is far from comprehensive. Kaldari 07:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
I've added a sentence about the interaction you mentioned to the paragraph to add more context to his later response. Kaldari (talk) 07:29, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Sit-in locations[edit]

  • Moon McGrath Drug Store - 323 Union St.
  • Trailways Bus Center - 113 6th Ave. N.
  • Greyhound - 517 Commerce (6th Ave. N. and Commerce)
  • Cain-Sloan - either 209 5th Ave. N. or 100 block of 5th Ave.
  • W. T. Grant - 215 5th Ave. N.
  • Woolworths - 221 5th Ave. N.
  • McLellans - 231 5th Ave. N.
  • Harveys - 6th Ave. N. and Church
  • Walgreens - 224 5th Ave. N.

Kaldari (talk) 00:25, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Nonviolent project[edit]

If you are interested in participating, please chime in at Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/Nonviolence. Kingturtle (talk) 12:28, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Oklahoma City[edit]

Currently, the full-scale demonstrations section includes the statement: "Although similar demonstrations had occurred previously in other cities, most notably in Oklahoma City in 1958..."

According to my sources, sit-ins were held in 15 U.S. cities prior to the Greensboro sit-ins, the earliest being in 1957. I haven't seen any mention of the Oklahoma City sit-in in particular. Is there a reason that we're characterizing the Oklahoma City sit-in as the "most notable"? Is there any source we can cite for that? Kaldari (talk) 21:23, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the reference for now. Kaldari (talk) 20:19, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Nashville sit-ins/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ealdgyth - Talk 14:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll be reviewing this article shortly. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    A few spots where a bit of information would help comprehension
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    One spot of opinion needs a citation
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:

Specific concerns

  • Lead:
    • Should give the dates of the events in the very beginning of the lead, first sentence.
  • Historical context:
    • Would not hurt to put a cite on the first paragraph (although I'll not require it).
    • The last paragraph, the last sentence needs a citation, as it's opinion. (Granted, not very controversial, but still enough of one that it should be cited)
  • Full-scale:
    • "During the first week of February.." specifcy the year please? I assume it's 1960, but it would be better to be sure.
Just very minor little things, the only thing really needed is the one citation.
I've put the article on hold for seven days to allow folks to address the issues I've brought up. Feel free to contact me on my talk page, or here with any concerns, and let me know one of those places when the issues have been addressed. If I may suggest that you strike out, check mark, or otherwise mark the items I've detailed, that will make it possible for me to see what's been addressed, and you can keep track of what's been done and what still needs to be worked on. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:41, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
I think I've addressed all the concerns above. Let me know if you notice any other areas for improvement. Kaldari (talk) 20:37, 10 January 2010 (UTC)
Looks great! It was already a pretty spiffy article, but since I was going to make you do that one cite, figured I'd have you pick up a few other small spots I noticed. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Citation issues[edit]

I reviewed the citation formats used in the article and have some comments.

  • Common Wikipedia style is to use title case for book and journal titles, and to use sentence case for titles of individual articles or lesser works (even if title case was used in the original). This style is sometimes used in the article now, but often title case is used when sentence case should be (notably, for Sumner's thesis: the thesis itself uses sentence case, and we should too). Another style (less often used, in my experience, but also common) is to use the case that the source itself uses; but either way, Sumner's thesis title should use sentence case.
    • I was told by another editor during a GA nomination that the convention was to choose one case style and apply it consistently to all the refs, which is what I did here. I'm reluctant to switch to an entirely new case convention without seeing some kind of guidelines on the matter. Kaldari (talk) 20:23, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      • I don't know of any guidelines. I can understand your reluctance to keep switching. Eubulides (talk) 19:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • At least one pair of duplicate citations should be coalesced: there are two citations (currently numbered [33] and [34]) to 'Wynn, "The Dawning of a New Day", 47.' that should just be one citation. This problem should be fixed systematically, if it occurs more than once.
    • Fixed. Not sure how I missed that one. Kaldari (talk) 20:30, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • It's a bit hard for readers to cross-reference from the References section to the Bibliography section. Please help them out by using |ref= in the Bibliography and wikilinking to the bibliography from the citations. To show you what I'm talking about I just now did that for Branch 1988, the first entry in the bibliography.
    • I've done this for all the works in the bibliography. It looks like the {{cite thesis}} template doesn't support the ref parameter, however. I tried to add support for it, but my code doesn't seem to work. Any suggestions? Kaldari (talk) 22:28, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Looks like you got it working; at least it works for me, thanks. Eubulides (talk) 19:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Since Sumner 1995 is always cited in its entirety, it'd be easier on the reader if it were moved out of Bibliography and into References (with multiple citations to the same source).
    • Good idea. Kaldari (talk) 20:30, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • (A small point.) I find it best, when editing, if <ref name=...> is used only for references that are cited more than once. That way, when seeing a reference, I can see whether it's used multiple times. I suggest this style be used here. This doesn't affect visual appearance of the article: it's purely for editing convenience, and please feel free to ignore this suggestion. Eubulides (talk) 07:29, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    • That was my plan originally. Some of the named references might have ended up as loners though though changes to other citations. Kaldari (talk) 20:30, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
      • OK, I removed those. I also removed trailing white space, and the (unnecessary) quotes around the ref names; please revert if there's any problem. Thanks for all that work! Eubulides (talk) 19:48, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Source: Voices of Freedom edited by Henry Hampton[edit]

This is paraphrased from Hampton, Henry; Fayer, S. (1990). Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. Bantam Books. ISBN 0553057340 I used this book as a source for Birmingham campaign, where the children involved in that protest were trained with the same methods used for the Nashville sit-ins.

Chapter 4 range is p. 53 - 71. Will take me several sessions to summarize all this.

p. 53 Chapter 4 starts with a brief overview of previous sit-ins by CORE in Chicago 1943, in St. Louis and Baltimore in 1949 and 1953 and more than a dozen Southern cities in the late 1950s with little to no media reaction. CORE, NAACP, and SCLC began training young people to participate, including sessions in Nashville which was considered fairly moderate because its public and private schools were integrated, blacks were represented on the School Board, city council, and the police force. However, libraries, hotels, theaters, and restaurants maintained their segregation policies. A report at the time stated "In downtown Nashville Negroes have no adequate facilities for eating. Welcomed as customers for merchandise, they are refused service as customers for food."

Any chance you could find out the title of the report? Kaldari (talk) 19:02, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the book does not say. --Moni3 (talk) 23:05, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
That's too bad. It would have been a great quote to use in the article. Kaldari (talk) 19:28, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

p. 54 Recollection by participant James Lawson: planning for an event began in early 1959 to desegregate downtown Nashville. Tennessee State, American Baptist Theological Seminary, and Fisk University students and adults from Nashville were the trainees. By fall, the trainings were held on a weekly basis and they emphasized the reason for nonviolent action and held role-playing sessions. Small groups of people (4 at a time) began to go into restaurants to ask for service, be denied, and gauge reaction from other customers and the wait staff by trying to start conversations, then question the management about segregation policies. Lawson justifies nonviolence saying "we're trying to create a more just society. You cannot do it if you exaggerate the animosities." Blowing up downtown Nashville was not an objective, just opening it to everyone has an opportunity to participate.

The ending of the Lawson quote doesn't make sense. Are you sure you copied it correctly? Kaldari (talk) 19:30, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but it is perhaps unclear what "it" references. The pararaph starts: "Why use nonviolence? The most practical reason is that we're trying to create a more...."--Moni3 (talk) 23:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

p. 55 Recollection by participant Diane Nash: Nash recalled that she felt stifled at Fisk, used to the opportunities she grew up with in Chicago. She heard of the training sessions and met Lawson, a conscientious objector to the Korean War, who had been to India to study Gandhi. Role-playing sessions included learning how to protect your head from beatings, and protect other participants when one was singled out for severe attention others would place themselves in front of the one receiving all the attention "so that the violence could be more distributed and hopefully no one would get seriously injured".

General text: at the end of 1959 trainees were ready. Nashville was the center of the moral controversy of segregation by its being the location of several higher ed institutions, several Protestant denominations, and nicknames "Protestant Vatican" and "buckle of the Bible Belt". Greensboro, NC held a sit-in on Feb 1, 1960.

p. 56 Recollection by Greensboro participant Joe McNeil: McNeil inspired by the "people of Little Rock" (referencing the Little Rock Nine), "really impressed with the courage that those kids had an the leadership they displayed", and his friends felt the same, that they wanted to be a part of something like that. College bull sessions turned to whom to target in Greensboro, and they decided on Woolworth's because it was a national chain. No reason for the date, and they tried to anticipate the reaction. About 15 walked in at 4.30 pm and got an immediate reaction from whites and blacks, stares, and blacks' were concerned for their safety. They sat and asked to be served and were denied. Others joined the next day after some press attention and 150 joined.

p. 57 cont'd McNeil: then a thousand, then spread to other cities.

General text: Sit-ins spread to Durham and Winston-Salem, then to South Carolina, Virgina, and Florida.

Recollection by John Lewis a student at Am. Bapt. Theol. Sem.: More than 500 Fisk students waited on the first day to go to First Baptist Church where they would be split into groups and sit at lunch counters at Woolworth's, Kresge's. McClellan's for their high-profile notability. Students dressed as they would in church, very orderly, with books and did homework while waiting for service. Restaurants were closed by management, and the students sat and worked.

Diane Nash: Experience very emotionally charged. Participants focused on respecting opponents, not getting distracted. First sit-in made waitresses nervous, dropped "about two thousand dollars' worth of dishes" and "almost a cartoon"

p. 58 cont'd Nash: Participants tried not to laugh so not to insult, but "scared to death".

John Lewis: No violent reaction so far until Feb 27 when organizers were told by a sympathetic white minister that the police would be waiting to allow a group of "white hoodlums and thugs" to beat participants who would be arrested after. They decided to go anyway, where all (about 100) went to Woolworth's, sat at every seat at the lunch counter. White men began to pulling mostly black women off stools and beating them, put out cigarettes on their backs and in hair, and all sit-in participants were arrested but none of the whites who were being violent. For Lewis it was like "being involved in a holy crusade" and was "a badge of honor" to be arrested, despite his upbringing which impressed on him that getting in trouble with the law "was not the thing to do".

Diane Nash: Participants "surprised and delighted" to hear reports of other cities' sit-ins.

p. 59 Nash cont'd: Participants did not know the sit-ins would become widespread. At 22-years old, Nash felt vulnerable, and was very impressed that the movement was countering authority figures such as judges, governors, politicians, etc. Nash: "The movement had a way of reaching inside you and bringing out the things that even you didn't know were there. Such as courage. When it was time to go to jail, I was much too busy to be afraid."

Recollection by participant C. T. Vivian: Students' parents began to pressure local college administrators for fear that their children's futures would be ruined by being arrested. While the police were more aligned with the business owners and thugs who were quick to be violent, the police felt they had to pressure the thugs to keep from reacting so harshly because such violence shames those who agree with racist policies.

p. 60 Vivian cont'd: Police waited to act on orders of business owners, who were affected by the breadth of the sit-ins throughout the South. Blacks avoided downtown businesses and whites were afraid of what was happening, so business owners asked sit-in organizers to negotiate.

Recollection by participant Leo Lillard: Boycott of downtown Nashville effective, not just limited to students but all citizens. Some blacks shopped downtown, but organizers "sent some educating committees to downtown to convince them that that was not the thing to do. We didn't hurt them, but we did kind of snatch their bags and tear things away from their arms and let them fal; on the ground and say, 'Stay out of town.'" Organizers were from out of town. Lillard felt obligated as a native Nashvillian, to correct the problems.

p. 61 Lillard cont'd: Young people who were the force behind the movement had nothing to lose, no jobs, houses or cars. Credit to blacks was new. Many blacks "treasured those things". Lillard figured older blacks would not get too immersed in illegal activities so the young people had to escalate the conflict.

General text: Mid-April saw 78 cities host sit-ins with 50,000 black and white participants, 2,000 arrested, and picket lines showed up at store headquarters in the North. A conference was held n Raleigh NC, organized by the SCLC.

Recollections by Diane Nash: Nash was invited to the conference.

p. 62, Nash cont'd: Organized by 45-year-old former NAACP organizers Ella Baker and Nash found her helpful and honest, and Nash saw her guidance as integral as the students had few older adults they could model themselves after.

Recollection by Marion Barry: MLK was at the Raleigh conference and he tried to persuade students to join SCLC but students were hesitant. Barry did not feel strongly that nonviolence was necessary.

p. 63 Recollection by Julian Bond: Ella Baker's presence in Raleigh was "very regal", and reminded Bond of a mother the way she gently guided the students. Baker's speech "More Than a Hamburger" (not included in source) connected for Bond. Baker's message emphasized that students should be the force behind the movement, and Bond felt that she meant not to let King dictate what the students should do. Lawson spoke at the conference...

p. 64 Bond cont'd: James Lawson and King had a friendly rivalry where Bond could tell that Lawson pushed him to do more. Lawson's speech was "thunderous, militant" and he proposed an "aggressive nonviolence. You didn't have to wait for the evil to come to you, you could go to the evil." Many Raleigh conference participants were well-dressed, like ministers (not expensive), and were very mature. From Atlanta, Bond began to think the sit-ins could have a very strong force in that city, and Bond felt like he needed a network.

General text: Weekend following saw the formation of SNCC. Alexander Looby's house dynamited. A march to City Hall ensued.

I'm curious if they state the number of people in the march. Sources I've seen vary from 2,000 to 4,000. (The 2,000 source is the Nashville Banner which was strongly pro-segregation, so I don't give it much weight.) Kaldari (talk) 23:22, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

p. 65 Leo Lillard: The bombers chose Looby because he was an adult, a pillar of the community. Students had already been beaten, but when Looby was targeted adults in Nashville had to join the movement. March was "very gratifying"; no need to cajole adults to come out for the cause.

C. T. Vivian: First large march of the movement. Began at Tennessee A & I, and as they walked through the black section of Nashville, Fisk students joined, then Pearl High School. People came out of their houses and joined. Filled Jefferson Avenue the entire length, some songs, but mostly quiet. White workers on their lunch breaks "had never seen anything like this". 4,000 people and most of what was audible was the shuffling of feet. Whites backed up and simply watched with fear and awe.

P. 66 Vivian cont'd: Whites knew it was serious. March ended at City Hall. Was all spontaneous. Vivian gave a short speech to the mayor, then Diane Nash spoke, challenging the mayor as to what he was going to do. Mayor said he did not think racism was right. When they asked him if he would work to end it, he said he would.

Diane Nash: Vivian's eloquence, borne of his commitment, helped when he presented the students' position to Mayor West. Nash has "a lot of respect" for West's response to her questions. Mayor's comments were printed in the newspaper the next day.

p. 67 Nash cont'd: Per Gandhi, the students sought to shift energy from the violent attack on Looby's house to their advantage.

Recollection by white shop owner Bernie Schweid: Mayor's comments were a turning point. Businessmen hesitant to act on their own, looking for a reason to integrate. Mayor's comments allowed that to happen.

General text: May 10, lunch counters in Nashville started serving black customers. More demonstrations warranted for theaters, hotels, and restaurants. In 1960 over 100 cities saw sit-ins, participants using the slogan "Jail, no bail." In October MLK in Atlanta was arrested at a sit-in and sentenced to four months on a chain gang, shocking people with the severity of the sentence, among them Harris Wofford, a white attorney working for JFK's presidential campaign.

p. 68 Recollection by Harris Wofford: King hesitated to do anything very high profile during the presidential campaign. Attempted to meet with JFK in the South somewhere and attempted to reach out to Nixon, which JFK balked at. King supposed to meet JFK in Miami but it got canceled, so he was free to participate in the sit-in. "I think the whole American people realized that that was an absurd sentence." Wofford helped draft a statement for JFK calling for King's release when Governor Vandiver (GA) said King would be released if no statement from JFK. But governor stalled.

p. 69 Wofford cont'd: Wofford and the civil rights group working for JFK decided to get JFK to call Coretta Scott King, who was pregnant (3rd child). Sargent Shriver intervened for this and JFK called CS King.

Recollection by Coretta Scott King: Depressed about MLK being in jail. CS King impressed by the call, personal details, and with JFK's invitation to call on him if she needed anything.

p. 70 CS King cont'd: Call came close to election day, CS King "didn't know what to make of it".

Wofford: JFK told advisers what he did and RFK stated they had lost: "We had three southern governors tell us that if you support Krushchev, Castro, or Martin Luther King, we;re going to throw our votes to Nixon." RFK "gave us hell"; Wofford "never been chewed out by anybody as angrily as I was by Robert Kennedy." But RFK called the judge to get MLK released from jail. Said he was so angry about "screwing up our politics in this country and maybe losing the election for my brother, I got so mad that I got that judge on the phone." Black voters very impressed by JFK's call although it was not reported widely. Louis E. Martin put the issue on a brochure juxtaposed with Nixon's "no comment" with other quotes from MLK Sr., Abernathy, and CS King.

p. 71 Wofford cont'd: MLK Sr. originally set to vote for Nixon because JFK Catholic, but changed his vote and wrote "I've got a whole suitcase full of votes that I'm taking up and putting in the lap of John Kennedy". Between 1 and 2 million brochures sent to black churches in the South.

CS King: Call from JFK "turned the tide". MLK released from jail next day. CS King credits MLK Sr. with making the difference in the presidential election of 1960.

Wofford: "The enormous turnout of black votes in critical states was said to have been the margin of victory."

End of Chapter 4. Let me know if you have questions. --Moni3 (talk) 14:21, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Stock "segregation photo" in article of specific event[edit]

I think it is unencyclopedic to include a stock photo of a segregated business place in Lancaster, Ohio in 1938 in an article about a specific series of events that happened in Nashville, Tennessee in 1960. The photo would be appropriate in an article about segregation in general, but it has no place in this article. Mal7798 (talk) 12:57, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

I dunno. I'm not sure it has no place at all, but its inclusion certainly is debatable. Are you familiar with Wikipedia's strong image policy? There may not by anything to replace it, as in a photo taken in Nashville before 1960 representing segregation. --Moni3 (talk) 13:55, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

The Nashville Way[edit]

A new book was just published devoted specifically to the Nashville Student Movement, The Nashville Way. I'm going to try to collect some quotations from it that might be useful for the article. Kaldari (talk) 06:37, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

page 5: "…these Nashvillians later played crucial roles in founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), rescuing the 1961 Freedom Rides, and participating in virtually every major subsequent southern battle of the movement, including those in Jackson, Birmingham, and Selma… the Nashvillians comprised, in many ways, both the literal and figurative soul of this phase of the black freedom struggle."