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'Friendship Nine' to be cleared of civil rights sit-in crimes

 Reuters 26 January 2019

Fifty-four years after nine young black men became the first U.S. civil rights protesters to serve jail time for sitting at an all-white lunch counter, surviving members of the 'Friendship Nine' will return to a South Carolina courtroom to be exonerated of their crimes. Their "jail, no bail" strategy helped galvanize the fight against racial inequality in the South and became a model for other protesters. The convictions are among a number of decades-old cases that have been revisited across the South in recent years as courts acknowledge racial injustice in the criminal justice system. (694 Words) - By Colleen Jenkins

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Reuters_Friendship Nine 1

Friendship Nine members Clarence Graham, David Williamson Jr., Willie Thomas Massey, James F. Wells and Willie E. McCleod (L-R) stand in front of a historical commemorative marker outside the Five & Dine diner in Rock Hill, South Carolina, December 17, 2019.Photo: REUTERS/Jason Miczek

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Friendship Nine members Willie Thomas Massey, Willie E. McCleod, James F. Wells, Clarence Graham and David Williamson Jr. (L-R) sit at the lunch counter at Five & Dine diner in Rock Hill, South Carolina, December 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Miczek


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