Jail, No Bail

This program is a series documentary that pays tribute to the “Friendship Nine,” a group of college students who were arrested for a lunch counter sit-in in Rock Hill, SC in 1961. Instead of paying bail (as was the norm with all previous sit-ins), they served 30 days of hard labor, making the city pay to house, feed & clothe them, thus turning the tables & drying up a dubious revenue stream. This movement caught on nationally, changing the entire sit-in strategy. The program was the centerpiece of 50th anniversary events, and still has legs today. It included extensive television, educational and community outreach initiatives.

Closed captioning has been provided for this broadcast program.

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Jail, No Bail, Part 1 - Introduction
Jail, No Bail, Part 1 - Introduction

Video

In the 1950s and 1960s, Rock Hill, South Carolina, was a thriving mill town, also known as “The Gateway to the Carolinas.” Like most of the segregated South, there were two separate worlds: one black...
Jail, No Bail, Part 2 - February 12, 1960
Jail, No Bail, Part 2 - February 12, 1960

Video

If Rock Hill was a war-zone, the most pivotal battle was February 12, 1960. For months before that date, local churches, students, and members of the NAACP planned a mass sit-in protest at lunch...
Jail, No Bail, Part 3 - "Jail, No Bail"
Jail, No Bail, Part 3 - "Jail, No Bail"

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By the summer of 1960, civil rights leaders began to question the effectiveness of these “sit-ins.” Thomas Gaither, a field secretary for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), along with other civil...
Jail, No Bail, Part 4 - Ernest J. Finney
Jail, No Bail, Part 4 - Ernest J. Finney

Video

Rev. Ivory, and James McCain, the South Carolina leader of CORE, arranged for a sharp, young attorney to represent and defend the student protesters: Ernest J. Finney. Finney would later on become the...
Jail, No Bail, Part 5 - Life In Prison
Jail, No Bail, Part 5 - Life In Prison

Video

Life in jail for the student prisoners was grueling. News of these “jail-ins” had reached other civil rights groups, and caught the attention of SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee). SNCC...
Jail, No Bail, Part 6 - March 2, 1961
Jail, No Bail, Part 6 - March 2, 1961

Video

The student prisoners were finally released, after serving twenty eight days, on March 2, 1961. The prisoners were released early, since prison officials wanted to keep publicity down. The success of...