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 The U.S. Civil Rights Movement  
 
Students sitting at lunch counter

Members of the North Carolina Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, depicted at the Tottle House lunch counter in Atlanta in 1960, sparked sit-ins by students across the South.

These SNCC veterans were not facing violence that day at Tottle House. “We stayed for two or three hours,” said Charles Neblett (smoking pipe in foreground). “We would talk to the waitress, we would let people know why we were there. We would sing, and actually have a meeting there.”

At other times, the students would be locked out and protest on the sidewalk. Sometimes, Neblett said, “We’d go inside, and thugs would put out cigarettes on us and do hideous things” – pour hot coffee or condiments over them. “We had to keep up the pressure. We had to put our bodies on the line .... We showed we just disagreed,” Neblett said. (Library of Congress)