Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline A. Rouse - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Akinyele K.Umoja


ABSTRACT The purpose of this thesis is to examine the Sit-in movement in Chattanooga, Tennessee during the early 1960s in the context of a perpetuating tradition of protest in the African American community spanning more than a century. The study will also illustrate how it was a unique episode in the annals of the Civil Rights Movement in that it was strictly orchestrated by high school students without the input or support of adults, yet it has largely been neglected by historians. The research conducted includes oral histories, newspaper clippings, private manuscript collections, books, videos, and periodicals which provide great insight into the minds, motives, and methods of those involved. The study also depicts the galvanizing spirit, ignited by the students, which compelled the community to act and resulted in monumental social changes.

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