African American History Culture : FRIENDSHIP "NINE"

Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by $$RICH$$, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

    United States
    Mar 21, 2001
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    In 1961, eight college students and a civil rights organizer walked into a Rock Hill, South Carolina store just after 11 a.m. and unwittingly began writing a new chapter in our nation’s history. Local police, aware of the plan, were waiting at McCrory’s 5-10-25 Cent Variety Store and arrested them immediately as they took their seat at the all-white lunch counter.
    [​IMG]Deemed the “Friendship Nine,” after the college eight of them attended, they were the first sit-in participants to insist on remaining in jail rather than pay bail. All nine were later convicted on trespassing charges and sentenced to hard labor for sitting at the whites-only lunch counter. Each was given a choice to pay a $100 fine or spend 30 days in jail with the condition that they would be sent to the “chain gang.”
    All of the men chose jail.
    The strategy became known as “jail, no bail,” a tactic that immediately mobilized demonstrators across the South who began refusing to pay bail when arrested for civil disobedience. The tactic gave new life to the Civil Rights movement.
    [​IMG]Fifty-four years later, the nephew of the original judge in the case overturned the convictions and vacated sentences for all nine in a hearing held Wednesday. The courtroom erupted with applause as Circuit Court Judge John C. Hayes III made the ruling. “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history,” Hayes said, signing the order in a packed municipal courtroom in Rock Hill.
    Eight of the surviving nine appeared at the hearing. They were represented by Ernest A. Finney Jr., who defended the original case and later became the first black chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since Reconstruction.
    “Today is a victory in race relations in America,” Bernice King told reporters after the ruling. “It is a new day.” King is the youngest child and daughter of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and CEO of The King Center for Non-Violent Change