New Historical Marker Honors College Students Sit-in

February 1, 2019 9:10 AM

A historical marker has been placed on a college campus here honoring three dozen students who participated in 1960 sit-ins.




The Tennessee historical marker acknowledging the 36 students from LeMoyne-Owen College and Owen Junior College has been placed on the LeMoyne-Owen campus. The marker stands near the Hollis F. Price Library on campus, and reads, in part:




“The Sit-in Movement against racial segregation reached Memphis Friday, March 18, 1960, when seven Owen Junior College students sat-in at the lunch counter in McClellan’s Variety Store Downtown.”




Following that sit-in, 36 students from Owen Junior College and LeMoyne-Owen left a rally on the following day to participate in sit-ins at the Cossitt and Peabody libraries in an effort to desegregate public facilities in Memphis.




The 36 students, along with five African-American journalists covering their actions, were arrested as a result of the sit-ins.




“These public facilities-focused sit-ins inspired others to sit-in at city museums and parks, churches, and department stores,” the marker reads. “Urged by Marlos Barry, a LeMoyne graduate and national chair of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the resolute efforts of these students were important contributions to the desegregation of Memphis.”




The marker will be officially dedicated on Wednesday, February 6th at 11 a.m. during the college’s Black History Month chapel service at Metropolitan Baptist Church on Walker.




The state historical marker program, headed by the Tennessee Historical Commission, began in the 1940s and has since been responsible for erecting close to 2,000 markers across the state.




The markers commemorate sites, people, or events significant to the state’s history. Continue Reading


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