Sit-ins staged 50 years ago that led to desegregation of city lunch counters will be recognized with this year’s Civil Rights Movement Resolution at the City Council meeting Monday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m.
Carl Matthews, a student at Winston-Salem Teachers College, began a sit-in on Feb. 8 at the F.W. Woolworth’s at Fourth and Liberty streets for the purpose of desegregating the lunch counter.
On Feb. 23, 11 African-American students at Winston-Salem Teachers College and 10 white students at Wake Forest joined the protest. When they refused to leave, they were arrested, jailed, and found guilty of trespassing. This demonstration was unique in that it brought white and black students together to use peaceful, passive resistance to advocate integration.
The students arrested at this sit-in from Winston-Salem Teachers College were Royal Joe Abbitt, Everette L. Dudley, Deloris M. Reeves, Victor Johnson Jr., William Andrew Bright, Bruce Gaither, Jefferson Davis Diggs III, Algemenia Giles, Donald C. Bradley, Lafayette A. Cook and Ulysses Grant Green; and from Wake Forest University were Linda G. Cohen, Linda Guy, Margaret Ann Dutton, Bill Stevens, Joe Chandler, Don F. Bailey, Paul Watson, Anthony Wayland Johnson, George Williamson and Jerry Wilson.
Three months after the sit-ins began, city officials and store managers reached an agreement and on May 25, 1960, Winston-Salem became the first community in North Carolina to desegregate its lunch counters.
Joines initiated the annual Civil Rights Movement Resolution in 2003 to honor those outstanding individuals who worked to strengthen civil rights and race relations in Winston-Salem.
Text of resolution [pdf/1p]