“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Houston in Harris County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Houston's First Sit-in

Houston's First Sit-in Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, October 6, 2019
1. Houston's First Sit-in Marker

From 1896 until the 1960s in the southern United States, Jim Crow laws effectively banned African Americans from using public facilities and basic services that were used by whites. In March 1960, thirteen students from Texas Southern University (TSU) started a non-violent movement protesting these laws and changed Houston forever. These young architects of change formed the Progressive Youth Association (PYA), meeting at the south central YMCA or in their apartments to plan strategies. These "war room" meetings are where they organized Houston's first sit-in.

On March 4, 1960, the thirteen students met at a flagpole on TSU's campus and marched in pairs one mile to Weingarten's Supermarket (4110 Almeda Road) with the objective of being served at the lunch counter. Dozens more joined them as they marched, singing black spirituals. Though white employees refused to serve the students and patrons hurled insults at them, they sat there silently for hours, occupying all 30 counter stools in shifts. More sit-ins occurred over the following days and weeks.

The sit-in at Weingarten's Supermarket was the first in a series of non-violent
Houston's First Sit-in Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, October 6, 2019
2. Houston's First Sit-in Marker
The former location of Weingarten's Supermarket is now a post office. Note the marker to the right of the post office sign.
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demonstrations leading to the peaceful end of segregation in public places. Houston's lunch counters quietly desegregated on August 25, 1960. Department stores, hotels and restaurants soon followed, and Houston's Astrodome opened in 1965 as an integrated facility. The sit-ins ended with the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Today, these thirteen unsung heroes are remembered for starting a movement that advanced civil rights and equality in Houston.

Marker is property of the State of Texas
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15713.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCivil Rights. In addition, it is included in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series list. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1960.
Location. 29° 43.899′ N, 95° 22.552′ W. Marker is in Houston, Texas, in Harris County. Marker is on Almeda Road south of Cleburne Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4110 Almeda Road, Houston TX 77004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Houston Light Guard (approx. 0.3 miles away); Houston Light Guard Armory (approx. 0.3 miles away); Temple Beth Israel (approx. 0.4 miles away); San Jacinto High School
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(approx. 0.4 miles away); First Evangelical Church (approx. half a mile away); Trinity Episcopal Church (approx. 0.6 miles away); Sixth Church of Christ, Scientist (approx. 0.6 miles away); Sam (Lightnin’) Hopkins (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Houston.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on October 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 267 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 7, 2019, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.

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Jul. 1, 2022