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This complete collection of DVDs present formal addresses, panel discussions and programs that took place at a conference and reunion unfolding over four days at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (or SNCC).
SNCC emerged from student protests that erupted on February 1, 1960 when four college students from North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro launched a sit-in at a Woolworth department store lunch counter. This daring action sparked a wave of similar challenges to segregation by thousands of students across the South. On the weekend of April 15 1960, student leaders from the sit-ins gathered at Shaw University and SNCC was born. Soon students in the newly formed SNCC began leaving school to commit themselves to the organization.
The early SNCC organizers were inspired and guided by Ella Baker who organized Southern NAACP branches in the 1940s and helped organize Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. Using money appropriated by Rev. King, Baker helped to organize SNCC’s founding conference at Shaw University. The 50th anniversary conference was dedicated to her.
SNCC’s history of sit-ins, freedom rides, and protests of segregation in public spaces is well documented. But most of SNCC’s story is not known, thus an important component of the 50th anniversary conference was to begin the job of telling the full story of the organization.
This DVD collection provides a complete record of every panel and plenary session at the 50th conference. They are unique not only in their comprehensiveness, but also because they feature an unprecedented number of SNCC veterans publically examining their Movement experiences. Many of these veterans are not usually encountered in the Civil Rights Movement canon. In short, the history contained in these DVDs is informed by a special and valuable sensibility available nowhere else. Moreover, these discussions are reinforced with the participation of some of academia's most thoughtful scholars of the Southern Freedom Movement.