1. The significance of the Greensboro Sit-Ins had broad reaching impact all over the country. As the media age blossomed to where a lot more American homes had TV sets more information was able to get to other parts of the country faster. This event was no different as the participants took a page right out of Martin Luther King's interpretation of nonviolence protests (which was originally from Mahatma Gandhi's position during the Indian Independence) and it showed other people that people's presence can make more of a lasting impact than their fists.

2. My impression of the event will probably be a little different than you expected. While I thought it was good to stand up for civil rights and to fight for integration. I thought the lasting impact crippled Black communities just as much, if not more, than it helped. I know this might seem odd but allow me to explain my stance.

First, it embraced the "forbidden fruit" mindset that going to businesses that didn't want to serve Black Americans to get no or limited service that was most time inadequate at best was a good thing, and it wasn't. Getting very bad service and tainted food just to say "they were there." They "had" to have that particular product or go to that particular place. You see the remnants of that today by people wanting to go places or buy things that they really can't afford just to keep up with appearances.

Second, it took away monies from Black businesses who were there from the very beginning to cater to the needs of Black Americans. Taking those monies away destroyed Black businesses who relied heavily on the business of other Black Americans. The monies stopped being recycled in the community and thus the Black businesses closed down and went out of business, as well as jobs, houses, livelihoods of those businessmen. Take it a step further, the resources that these Black businesses used to keep the productions of goods in their stores (mainly other Black businesses) were no longer brought. So those businesses went out of business as well. So it presented an unintended cascade effect that caused the downfall of a lot of Black businesses.

Third, as the number of Black businesses decreased there was a massive shift in Black American spending practices. Because there were no more Black businesses there were no more recycling of dollars in the Black community, people sought to go out to these more mainstream businesses whose prices were increased just based on the color of one's skin. So Black Americans' money wasn't going as far as it did in the past.
 
I could go on and on but you see my point. While I think they meant well to be taken seriously in the Sit-Ins to combat discrimination, it had tremendously detrimental consequences. People are still trying to recover from those events back then today. But others are still happily trying to keep up with appearances. If you have anymore questions or if I can help in any way please let me know.

Terrance Shawn McGill MD
drtshawn@aol.com

 
 
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