On a beautiful Saturday morning in July 1958, 19-year-old Carol Parks unexpectedly started a movement. She parked her yellow Chevrolet in downtown Wichita and walked through the revolving door of Dockum Drug Store. She took a seat at the lunch counter and ordered a Coca-Cola. She did this, she said, “as if I’d been doing it all my life.”
Only, she hadn’t. Not once. She was an African American woman and, at the time, lunch counters across the United States were segregated, with Black patrons relegated to takeout windows and standing sections.
Parks’s order was a small act of defiance, and the White waitress was flummoxed. Especially when she saw another young Black woman hop off a bus and sit down two stools away. Then another woman. And another. Ten young protesters — all members of Wichita’s NAACP Youth Council, of which Parks was vice president — occupying the counter’s seats. The store’s management put up a sign: “This Fountain Temporarily Closed.” Click here for the original article.