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Ain't Scared of Your JailArrest, Imprisonment, and the Civil Rights Movement$
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Zoe A. Colley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042411

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042411.001.0001

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(p.24) 2 Jail-No-Bail!
Ain't Scared of Your Jail

Zoe A. Colley

University Press of Florida

Chapter 2 examines the 1960 sit-in movement and the increasingly determined efforts of white authorities to suppress protests via mass arrest. During this period, student protesters developed an ideology that embraced imprisonment as a liberating experience; they adopted the slogan “jail-no-bail” to describe their protest philosophy. This chapter highlights the way in which debate over how to respond to mass arrest was a source of intra-organizational conflict during this period; in particular, it intensified the existing divisions between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other national civil rights groups. The chapter concludes by arguing that, while the idea of jail-no-bail was warmly received by supporters of nonviolent protest, the reality was that relatively few activists were willing to spend prolonged periods of time inside jail.

Keywords:   Sit-in movement, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Jail, Martin Luther King Jr.

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