Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was an organization of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s that came to be after several student meetings led by Ella Baker at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina in April 1960.
Sit-ins, like the much-famed Woolworth sit-in in Greensboro in 1960, inspired many and galvanized a broader movement across the South. The Southern Christian Leadership Coalition, the NAACP and countless other organizations proliferated throughout the South, creating a broad network of organizers.
Baker was instrumental in the creation of the Southwide Youth Leadership Conference at her alma mater. The conference, held over the Easter holiday of 1960, "proved to be both powerful and productive". SNCC was born out of the conference and within it were two very powerful contingents: a wing devoted to direct action and a wing devoted to voter registration and the enfranchisement of hundreds of thousands of Black people across the United States.
SNCC sought to differentiate itself from the SCLC and the NAACP, and it did. SNCC was the vanguard within the southern Civil Rights movement, taking on greater risks than many other organizations. Freedom riders risked life and limb, entering the most dangerous pro-Jim Crow Deep South, fighting segregation and confronting violent opposition at the hands of racist police, FBI and residents.
By the mid-1960s, SNCC was not only combating oppression on the front lines in public spaces, but also organizing labor unions and political parties to fight the racist Southern Democratic or Dixiecrat machine. These activities further strengthened organizing in the South and paved the way for different factions of the group to go on to fight important battles there.
Later in the 1960s, leaders like Stokely Carmichael led SNCC to focus on "black power" and protest against the Vietnam War.
Prominent leaders and members include:
- Ella Baker
- Julian Bond
- Stokely Carmichael
- James Forman
- Fannie Lou Hamer
- John Lewis
- Robert Parris Moses
- Diane Nash
- Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson
- Cleveland Sellers
- Marzette Watts
- Charles McDew
- Charles Sherrod, Co-Founder and Field Secretary
- Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement
- SNCC: What We Did - Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, by Julian Bond
- SNCC 1960-1966