Chapter

“Complicated Hospitality”

George Lewis

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813041513.003.0003
“Complicated Hospitality”

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This chapter by George Lewis analyses a vital but hitherto neglected aspect of the sit-in movement–its impact on white segregationists. It shows how the student protests posed an array of fundamental challenges to the central tenets of Jim Crow ideology. The sit-ins thereby undermined some fundamental assumptions of the segregationist credo, notably its conviction that African Americans were content with the regional caste system, and thus created divisions among Southern resisters about how to combat them. As a result the sit-ins altered the fundamental balance of power in the freedom struggle, not only through their reinvigoration of nonviolent protest but also by wresting the tactical and intellectual initiative from those seeking to preserve segregation.

Keywords: African Americans; Whites; Sit-Ins; Segregationists; Ideology

Chapter.  7149 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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