Sit-ins and Desegregation in the U.S. South in the Early 1960s (ICPSR 35630)

This study examines the causes and consequences of sit-ins in the American South. It was motivated by four questions: (1) Why did sit-ins occur in some cities rather than others in the spring of 1960? (2) Did movement organizations grow faster where sit-ins occurred? (3) Why did desegregation occur in some cities but not others in 1960-1961? (4) Was desegregation more likely where sit-ins occurred? To answer these questions, data was collected on cities in the states of the former Confederacy plus Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia. All urban places with a population of at least 10,000 and a Black population of at least 1,000 are included. These provide the 334 observations. Variables include dates of sit-in protest and of the desegregation of lunch counters, social and economic characteristics from the 1960 Census, geographical location, Civil Rights organizations, newspaper circulation, and athletic affiliations of Black colleges.


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