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ERIC Number: EJ1002127
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Nov
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
All of Africa Will Be Free before We Can Get a Lousy Cup of Coffee: The Impact of the 1943 Lunch Counter Sit-Ins on the Civil Rights Movement
Shah, Aarushi H.
History Teacher, v46 n1 p127-147 Nov 2012
One spring afternoon, a group of young black students enter a local eating establishment with one modest desire--to sit with friends and enjoy a cup of coffee. They wait patiently, but are only served dirty looks, cold shoulders, and some choice words. Such an experience was not uncommon in Chicago in the early 1940s. Segregation, though illegal, was alive and visible to all who chose to notice. Despite the humiliation, the students remain seated, hour after hour. Such were the humble beginnings of the long and arduous journey towards social justice in America. Most traditional histories of the African-American Civil Rights Movement focus on major events of the South during the 1950s-1960s, including desegregation of schools, Southern lunch counter sit-ins, and the 1963 March on Washington. While such emphasis has illuminated African-American conflicts against de jure segregation of the Deep South, it has also, inadvertently, obscured earlier struggles against de facto segregation in the North. In fact, the foundation of the civil liberties campaign was laid in Northern cities as far back as the early 1940s. Two of the earliest instances of Northern protests took place in Chicago in 1943 as sit-ins at Jack Spratt's Coffee House and Stoner's Restaurant. These and other early Northern nonviolent direct action sit-ins were seeds of the Civil Rights Reform Movement. While initially resulting in modest successes of limited scope, these seeds eventually grew into an effective strategy for achieving desegregation of local dining facilities and public accommodations, gained broader appeal in both Northern and Southern states, and blossomed to become a small yet integral component of the Mass Civil Rights Reform Movement of the 1950s-1960s, which ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Contains 43 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois