Chapter

Breaching the Wall of Resistance

Clive Webb

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/9780813041513.003.0004
Breaching the Wall of Resistance

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This chapter by Clive Webb continues the exploration of the impact that the student sit-ins had on segregationists. It acknowledges the importance of the protests in demonstrating to white defenders of Jim Crow the depth of black anger with this system and the consequent segregationist resort to defense of property rights rather than racist doctrine to legitimize their continued resistance to racial change. It also moves beyond monolithic interpretations of Southern white reaction to show that this spanned the entire spectrum from confrontation to cooperation. It also considers some neglected influences on white response to the protests--notably international politics and Christian theology--and examines how segregationist politicians in the U.S. Congress incorporated a critique of the sit-ins into their opposition to enactment of federal civil rights legislation.

Keywords: African Americans; Whites; Sit-Ins; Segregationists; Property rights

Chapter.  9252 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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