Another Side of the Sit-Ins

John Kirk

in From Sit-Ins to SNCC

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041513
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043883 | DOI:
Another Side of the Sit-Ins

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This chapter by John Kirk explores the convoluted responses by state and federal courts to trespassing charges brought against Little Rock students protesting lunch counter segregation and the complicated jurisprudential tensions between civil rights and property rights. While sympathetic to the aims of the sit-ins, the U.S. Supreme Court proved consistently reluctant to rule in their favor over the rights of property owners. It eventually overturned the convictions of the Arkansas students (and over three thousand other sit-in cases) on the basis of the outlawing of public segregation by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, its failure to clearly delineate the role of the state in adjudicating between individual liberties and private property rights had implications that remain unresolved a half-century later.

Keywords: Sit-Ins; Civil Rights; Trespassing; Arkansas; Courts

Chapter.  8026 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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