SNCC 1960-1966: Six years of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee

SNCC Protesters: Black is not a vice, nor is segregation a virtue.

On February 1, 1960, a group of black college students from North Carolina A&T University refused to leave a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina where they had been denied service. This sparked a wave of other sit-ins in college towns across the South. The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC (pronounced "snick"), was created on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh two months later to coordinate these sit-ins, support their leaders, and publicize their activities.

Over the next decade, civil rights activism moved beyond lunch counter sit-ins. In this violently changing political climate, SNCC struggled to define its purpose as it fought white oppression. Out of SNCC came some of today's black leaders, such as former Washington, D.C. mayor Marion Barry, Congressman John Lewis and NAACP chairman Julian Bond. Together with hundreds of other students, they left a lasting impact on American history.

This site covers the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee from its birth in 1960 to 1966, when John Lewis was replaced by Stokely Carmichael as chairman. This event marks a decided change in philosophy for SNCC, and one that warrants an equal amount of attention. However, we have focused on the first six years of the movement, in order to adequately explore such events as sit-ins, the Freedom Rides and Freedom Summer.

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