Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Daryl A. Carter

Committee Members

Elwood Watson, Dinah Mayo-Bobee


This thesis examines the sit-in demonstrations that used direct action and civil disobedience to target segregation at store lunch counters. The Nashville demonstrations were the last sit-in protests to occur that are discussed in this thesis, which also examines the protests in Wichita and Greensboro. Historians argue that the Wichita and Greensboro sit-ins were the most important demonstrations of their kind. The movement in Wichita was the first protest to end segregation policies at targeted stores, and the Greensboro protests led to a direct action movement in over fifty other cities targeting lunch counters. However, the Nashville based sit-ins surpassed the other two cities in planning and organization, demonstrations, and ending results following the protests. This thesis will provide a historical analysis of events in America’s past that led to the sit-in movement; the thesis will also examine the movements within the three cities.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.