From Greensboro to SNCC

Nonviolent Sit-Ins of 1960


  • Rongwei Zhu Boston College


civil rights, 1960s and 1970s activism


This paper examines the extent to which the Greensboro Four and other civil rights activists led to the rise of the New Left in the 1960s, drawing references predominantly to Howard Brick’s Radicals in America. In considering the developments of the 1960s as a whole, this paper illustrates the arduous process in which the people of various activist movements sought solidarity under a single, broad political movement known as the New Left. Specifically, this essay examines how the civil rights, feminist, and anti-war movements were able to unite in their fights for justice. In the light of a recent surge in hate crimes, gun violence, and the overruling of Roe v. Wade, American citizens, reminiscent of the 1960s, began to take to the streets again to protest against what they believe as violations of their inalienable rights. While this paper contributes to the greater discussion of non-violent political movements throughout the 1960s, it also sheds light upon the various ways in which the people of the United States can stand united amidst an increasingly polarized society.