Posted by: Guha Shankar
Sixty-one years ago this month, on February 1, 1961, the “Friendship Nine” – a group of African American college students at Friendship Junior College - adopted an unorthodox tactic termed “Jail, No Bail” during their appearance on trespassing charges in a Rock Hill, South Carolina court. The group had been arrested the previous day for trying to get service at a segregated lunch counter in the city (in other words, they staged a “sit-in”). Rather than paying a fine for violating a public ordinance, as was the norm, they chose instead to serve out their sentence of thirty days of hard labor on a county chain gang. In commemoration of Black History Month, my post today (number 999 in AFC blog history!) reaches into the Civil Rights History Project collection to illuminate this facet of the civil rights era as recollected by veteran activists.