James Wells.Friendship9.JasonMiczek.Reuters

James Wells has died, one of the Friendship Nine who sat down at a whites-only lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1961 and spent 30 days in jail rathern pay a $100 fine for their freedom. They were students at Friendship Junior College and were put to hard labor on a chain gang. It was a criticial moment as the civil rights movement picked up steam; more sit-ins meant more arrests and more fines, which activists couldn’t afford. Wells later served in the military, then became a lawyer; the Friendship 9’s convictions were overturned in 2015 and county prosecutors apologized. Above: autographing a children’s history book. (Reuters)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.