Most North Carolinians believe the Civil Rights Movement occurred strictly in the 1960s, with the start of the Sit-Ins at the Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, North Carolina. The movement, however, began much earlier, and one can argue that its roots lay in the Civil-War period.
Subject: Civil Rights Movement
Although historians disagree regarding W.J. Cash’s conclusions about the Old and New South, they agree that all serious scholars of Southern history and culture must be familiar with Mind of the South. In it, the North Carolinian predicted the Civil Rights Movement. He died an untimely death in Mexico City in 1941.
From its beginning in 1865, Shaw University has been a forerunner in starting educational programs among historically black colleges, and in 1960, it served as the birthplace of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) during the Civil Rights Movement.
Started by Ella Baker, a Shaw University alumna, SNCC used a more decentralized and local strategy than other civil rights organizations and provided leadership examples for other 1960s protest groups. After SNCC’s formation at the Raleigh institutution, sit-ins became more frequent. As the decade continued, SNCC leadership started emphasizing Black Power, contradicting conservative, ministerial leadership in other organizations, and thereby revealing discontent and disagreement within the Civil Rights Movement.
On February 1, 1960, four African-American students of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sat at a white-only lunch counter inside a Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth’s store. While sit-ins had been held elsewhere in the United States, the Greensboro sit-in catalyzed a wave of nonviolent protest against private-sector segregation in the United States.
Reginald Hawkins was as an boisterous and confrontational desegregation activist of the 1950s and 60s. His passionate avocation for racial equality propelled him to the national civil rights spotlight and helped to dismantle segregation in North Carolina and the South.
Realizing desegregation was unavoidable, Charlotte School Board members ordered four black students to attend four non-integrated schools in the area. Dorothy Counts, one of the four students, was assigned to Harding High School and required to report there on September 4, 1957. While escorted by Reginald Hawkins, Counts was heckled, hissed, and spat upon while walking to the school.
Residential segregation is the phenomenon of individuals of a particular ethnicity inhabiting dwellings in a particular area. Though residential segregation of whites and African-Americans was enforced by law in many major U.S. cities, government enforcement of residential segregation in the United States ended after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in the 1948 case Shelley v. Kraemer. Residential segregation has nevertheless persisted as a sociological phenomenon in the United States, even after its legal basis has ended.
Restrictive covenants are clauses in property deeds that contractually limit how owners can use the property. Use of these covenants in property deeds remains widespread. During the early-twentieth century, however, they were used in the United States as instruments of residential segregation. By stipulating that land and dwellings not be sold to African Americans, restrictive covenants kept many municipalities residentially segregated in the absence of de jure racial zoning.
Griggs v. Duke Power Company was a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1971. It concerned the legality, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, of high school diplomas and intelligence test scores as prerequisites for employment. The court ruled unanimously against the intelligence testing practices of the Duke Power Company. In his opinion, Chief Justice Warren Burger argued that employers can use intelligence tests only if "they are demonstrably a reasonable measure of job performance."