Title: Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down
Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrator: Brian Pinkney
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Concepts: discrimination, racial equality, social justice, consumer boycotts and sit-ins
Review: Early in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, four brave young people sat at the Woolworth's lunch counter and waited for service. Their courage stemmed from standing up for their rights, as African Americans, to be treated equally and to gain access to the same services as whites. Woolworth's, however, like most businesses and institutions, segregated its operations, and its lunch counters would serve only whites.
Inspired by Martin Luther King's principle of meeting hate with love, David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell sat patiently and quietly and waited to place their orders. They waited all day, and when they came back the next day, they waited again and were joined by others. The idea caught on like wildfire across the country and within a year, tens of thousands of people -- back and white -- had taken part in sit-ins. As participants continued to meet hostility and violence with non-violent means, the sit-ins ultimately resulted in an enormous step toward social justice with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Young learners gaining their first exposure to the history of the civil rights movement will enjoy this book's lively watercolor illustrations and rhythmical text, rich in historical background and embellished with cooking metaphors. The back-end materials further make the book a useful resource for introducing children to the power of consumer boycotts and sit-ins in prompting businesses to end their discriminatory practices.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children