February is Black History Month. It is a time to recognize strong leadership and significant contributions from American history of black citizens. It is a time to celebrate the achievements and notable accomplishments that bettered our world. But there were many organizations that enriched the lives of Americans. Take a moment to consider the many, many groups and organizations that worked so hard to make change happen.
One such organization is SNCC. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about this important, yet not so widely known organization during the Civil Rights Movement. Share them with your students. Make a trivia game out of the facts below. Create a webquest or scavenger hunt for facts about this group for your students. But mostly, let them be enlightened by the existence of this organization and their push for freedom.
Q: What does SNCC stand for?
A: SNCC stands for Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.*
Q: When was this group established?
A: It was founded in April 1960 by young people who had emerged as leaders of the sit-in protest movement initiated on February 1 of that year by four black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina.*
Q: Why was it formed?
A: SNCC’s emergence as a force in the southern civil rights movement came largely through the involvement of students in the 1961 Freedom Rides, designed to test a 1960 Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in interstate travel facilities unconstitutional. By the time the Interstate Commerce Commission began enforcing the ruling mandating equal treatment in interstate travel in November 1961, SNCC was immersed in voter registration efforts in McComb, Mississippi, and a desegregation campaign in Albany, Georgia, known as the Albany Movement.*
Q: What do they stand for?
A: The statement of purpose of the organization is : “We afﬁrm the philosophical or religious ideal of nonviolence as the foundation of our purpose, the presupposition of our faith, and the manner of our action. Nonviolence as it grows from Judaic-Christian traditions seeks a social order of justice permeated by love.”*
Q: What type of ways did they use to get their messages out?
A: SNCC primarily used demonstrations, protest groups, and sit-ins to get their messages out and let their voices be heard.*
Check out these websites for further study on SNCC!
* (n.d.). Retrieved 2 3, 2013, from Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute: http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_student_nonviolent_coordinating_committee_sncc/
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