Today is a historic day in the annals of black history related to agitation and civil disturbance against injustice in the United States. In Raleigh, North Carolina, at Shaw University, on April 7, 1960, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was founded. Out of this organizational founding came some of the most memorable people that participated in the struggle for black civil rights. The establishment of SNCC afforded young African Americans students an independent voice of leadership as well as the direction of the black freedom movement.
The initial leading groups of the black civil rights movement were the alliance of black southern ministers (SCLC), the NAACP, CORE, and the Urban League. These four organization drew its strengths from the middle-class sectors of the black community while SNCC was going to pull its momentum and power from the black youth, especially young black college students. Most of these black students were enrolled in historically black colleges and universities. Why? Because of societal segregation which forbade black students from attending this country's white universities and colleges.
So these black brothers and sisters became the young leaders who transversed the United States southern states fighting and directly confronting racial bigotry, racist oppression, and racist violence. Stokely Carmichael, Courtland Cox, Bob Moses, Julian Bond, Marion Barry, John Lewis, James Bevel, Diane Nash, Angeline Butler, Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson, Oretha Haley, James Forman, Charles McDrew, Jean Thompson, Charles Jones, H Rap Brown and so many others joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee with the intent to erase racially motivated bigotry and segregation in the United States. Where would this country be without the energies the members of SNCC provided to uplift our black communities?
"The Greensboro And Nashville Lunch Counters Sit-Ins, Freedom Summers, Southern Voting Registration Drives, The Lowndes County Freedom (originator: black panther symbol),
Supporting The Development Of Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, Driving The Initial Opposition Against The Vietnam War, And So Many Other Causes Essential To Black Community Uplift."
The ultimate sacrifice of SNCC member Sam Younge who was murdered in cold calculated blood. The first black college student killed in the black freedom movement. Of course, SNCC became a direct enemy of the United States government. The COINTELPRO plan to erase any organization that wanted to move this nation towards true democratic principles led eventually to the demise of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. However, the impact and energy of SNCC are still prevalent today. So today on the 69th Birthday of this historic organization I deliver the words of the founder Ella Baker speech given during the founding events of SNCC, "It's Bigger Than A Hamburger".