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1960 Durham sit-ins flyer

Identifier: NCC-0243

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a 1960 flyer calling for boycotts of Woolworth's, Kress, and Walgreens in downtown Durham. While its creators are not named, the flyer's sections document "Why??" citizens were being asked to boycott stores that would sell merchandise to but not seat African American customers for service at their lunch counters, explains "What Can You Do??" including shopping elsewhere, letter writing and petitions, and instructs to "Join the Student Picket Lines" which were "manned by students of North Carolina College, Durham Business College, Bull City Barber College, De Shazor's Beauty College, Hillside High School, and NAACP Youth Chapters." The collection also includes text detailing memories of the donor Bill Sharpe, a Duke Divinity School student, including his being inspired in February 1960 when he attended the speech by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at White Rock Baptish Church, and which help illustrate a white student's experience joining nonviolent protests organized by African American students in Durham which were part of a nationwide nonviolent challenge to laws upholding segregation.


  • 1960 to circa 2000s?

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Bill Sharpe, Class of 1960, Duke University Divinity School, attended Martin Luther King Jr.'s February 16, 1960 speech at White Rock Baptist Church and was inspired to participate the next morning in a sit-in at Durham's Kress department store lunch counter. Sharpe was chair of the Social Actions Committee at the Divinity School and joined student government petitions in the preceding months to repeal the policy preventing black students from enrolling in Duke's seminary. Months of nonviolent student protesting including sit-ins and picketing were organized in Durham and throughout the South following Greensboro, North Carolina student sit-ins begun on February 1, 1960 when David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and Joseph McNeil, students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, were refused service at the whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth's. Earlier local efforts to challenge segregation in Durham included Reverend Douglas E. Moore leading a group of seven people in June 1957 to request service in the white-only section of Durham's Royal Ice Cream parlor, who were refused, and then arrested for trespassing. The text in the collection apparently printed from a Duke alumni magazine article cites an April 1960 memo to Dean Cushman and President A. Hollis Edens calling for a boycott of Duke Divinity School classes during Good Friday.


.08 Linear Feet (Folder 5)

Language of Materials



Collection includes "Don't Buy At These Stores" flyer, two-page print out of "The Kresses Sit-ins" memoir from Bill Sharpe, and one page print out of text from possible Duke alumni publication article "1960 M.L. King Jr. Visit Inspires Divinity Support for Sit-Ins" by Bill Sharpe.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bill Sharpe

Related Materials

Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project Collection (NCC.0040)

Related Materials

Durham Civil Rights Heritage Project online exhibit (

Finding Aid for the 1960 Durham sit-ins Flyer
Various processors.
November 3, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
Various processors. Updated by Amy McDonald, 2012; Beth Morris Weiss, 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the North Carolina Collection Archives Repository

300 N. Roxboro Street
Durham NC 27701 United States