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

NonviolenceNonviolence: SNCC's original statement of purpose established nonviolence as the driving philosophy behind the organization. However, things were never that simple. In the early days, during the period of the sit-in movement, nonviolent action was strictly enforced, particularly for public demonstrations, as it was key to the movement's success. (more)

VietnamVietnam: SNCC formally came out against the Vietnam War in the beginning of 1966 as a result of pressure from northern supporters and from members working on the southern projects. In one instance, the McComb, Mississippi project went as far as releasing its own antiwar pamphlet. Such events may have pushed SNCC towards releasing an official opinion, but the murder of Sammy Younge was the catalyst. Younge was a SNCC worker and a Tuskegee Institute Student who lost his kidney in Vietnam. (more)

White LiberalismWhite Liberalism: Early in SNCC's history a rift began to form between the organization and its white liberal support. When SNCC initially began its program of sit-ins and other forms of nonviolent protest, they hoped it would create such a compelling image of violent oppression that northern white liberals would become incensed by the situation (more)

FeminismFeminism: Many people feel that SNCC opened the door for the feminist movement, as it first established many of the principles later use by feminists. SNCC sought to change society by creating alternative institutions, instead of altering the existing ones. It rallied the oppressed by glorifying their qualities, and it viewed prejudice, in the form of racism or sexism, as a core social problem. (more)

Black PowerBlack Power: Black Power was the guiding philosophy of SNCC in its later years. It began to develop and take hold sometime after 1964, and came to prominence in 1966 when Stokely Charmicael became head of the organization. (more)