For the past few weeks, Southern Foodways Alliance has been rolling out its short documentary series Counter Histories, marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and celebrating the Civil Rights activists who worked to desegregate the South's public spaces. The latest installment of Counter Histories — which yes, focuses specifically on lunch counters — focuses on the effort in Nashville, Tennessee, where students staged sit-ins that often required having to endure harassment and violence. The short film interviews activists like Mathew Walker, Jr., who now describes the movement as "a combination of tragedy and fun."
During the first two months of sit-ins in Nashville, more than 150 African-American students are arrested. According to Walker, the desegregation of the city's lunch counters eventually acted as the "first of a number of dominoes to fall" in order to integrate other businesses and public spaces. "Our action brought America closer to its founding ideals," he says. Go, watch this affecting film above.