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SNCC Button (1965)
*On this date, we affirm the beginning of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
SNCC was a United States political organization formed by Black college students dedicated to overturning segregation in the South and giving young Blacks a stronger voice in the American Civil Rights movement. SNCC, as an organization, advanced the "sit-in" movement, a protest technique. Later in their first year of operations, similar sit-in demonstrations occurred in 54 cities in nine states.
SNCC members joined with activists from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in the 1961 Freedom Rides in the heavily Black, rural counties of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. In 1964 they helped create “Freedom Summer,” an effort to focus national attention on Mississippi's racism. In June of that year, members of the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi, murdered three SNCC civil rights activists, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney, and Andrew Goodman, who participated in the project.
Throughout 1964 and 1965, SNCC organized voter registration efforts in and around Selma, Alabama. In May 1966, a faction of them committed to Black separatism and headed by Stokely Carmichael took over the organization from CORE, which favored integration. Carmichael was expelled from SNCC in August 1968 due to his support of guerrilla tactics and the use of violence in urban areas.
Several of SNCC's early leaders went on to gain national prominence, including John Lewis, Marion Barry, Diane Nash, Bernard Lafayette, Ella Baker, Charles Sherrod, and Julian Bond.
The World Book Encyclopedia.
Copyright 1996, World Book, Inc.