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Members of the Friendship 9 gather at Five and Dine, a restaurant at the former location of McCrory's dime store in Rock Hill, SC.
Members of the Friendship 9 gather at Five and Dine, a restaurant at the former location of McCrory’s dime store in Rock Hill, SC. Photo by Jason Miczek for Reuters.

A really wonderful thing about being the SFA’s editor is that I get to read a LOT and call it professional development. More often than not it’s related to foodways, or drink, or Southern culture, or literature, or….okay, actually, I pretty much read it all. Once a week or so, I’ll share some of my favorite stories with you.

In January 1961, a group of young men were arrested in Rock Hill, South Carolina, following a peaceful attempt to desegregate the McCrory’s lunch counter. Nine of the men refused to post bail and were sentenced to a month of hard labor at the York County Prison Farm. Today, a South Carolina judge threw out the convictions of the Friendship 9. After you’ve read about today’s decision, visit our Counter Histories website to watch a short film about the Rock Hill sit-in. (Of course, we encourage you to stick around and explore the Counter Histories site—you can watch 5 short films about the sit-ins that led to restaurant desegregation in the 1960s, and read up on how the struggle for social justice is still with us today.)