The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), is a civil rights organisation that works on matters related to voter registration, adult education, and freedom schools to theater productions, cooperatives, and independent political parties, according to its website.
However, the SNCC did not start off with the momentum it possesses currently. The committee was launched through sit-ins organised by a handful of Black students in North Carolina's Greensboro in February 1960. The students primarily challenged segregation in restaurants and other public accommodations.
On Sunday, Robert Parris Moses, who worked against segregation as the Mississippi field director of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement, died at the age of 86.
Moses, along with other activists like Jane Stembridge and Ella Baker worked diligently to expand the group along with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The team was tasked to "recruit students to participate in an SNCC conference being planned for October 1960", in Atlanta, according to the official SNCC website.
What role did the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee play in the Civil Rights Movement of America?
The SNCC was the backend support that was required to successfully execute the movement that sought to put an end to concepts like legalised discrimination, social and economic inequality and racial segregation.
The SNCC supported the strengthing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The group forced the inclusion and implementation of Article 5, which ensured a ban on arbitrary state laws.
The group also promoted young leadership in order to eliminate barriers of age to get to a position with authority.
The SNCC has also worked to strengthen the right of the African American community in the Civil Rights Movement through organising non-violent actions such as sit-ins and marches.
The use of popular education and freedom schools have also been promoted through the years with an aim to help the youth learn about the struggles of their predecessors and learn their history.