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Large Group of Black People. Black History Month. Seamless Pattern. Learning about African culture.

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J. Charles Jones, a prominent civil rights activist, made significant contributions to Charlotte’s history by organizing some of the city’s earliest lunch-counter sit-ins.

Born in August 1937 in Chester, South Carolina, Jones relocated to Charlotte at the age of 10, settling in the Biddleville neighborhood near Johnson C. Smith University. Later, he pursued divinity studies at the university.

According to WCNC, in 1960, inspired by protests at North Carolina A&T, Jones spearheaded efforts to desegregate Charlotte’s restaurants. He mobilized students, urging them to join him in wearing their Sunday best and peacefully occupying the Woolworths nearby.

Anticipating modest participation, Jones was surprised when over 200 individuals rallied behind his cause, demonstrating widespread support for the sit-in movement in Charlotte.

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