Reel South: Counter Histories: Rock Hill

About This Episode

On January 31, 1961, ten students from Friendship College requested service at the McCrory’s Five-and-Dime lunch counter. They were arrested and taken to jail. All but one refused to pay the $100 bail. The nine remaining men remained in jail for a month, refusing to pay the city for bail on sentences they believed unjust. They completed their mandated hard labor at York County Prison Farm.

This “Jail, No Bail” tactic piloted by the Friendship Nine spread rapidly to other protests in the movement who refused to continue funding city governments that oppressed black citizens. The current owner of the downtown building where McCrory’s was located has turned the space into a restaurant called Five and Dine, dedicated to the efforts of the Friendship Nine and other protesters.

Reel South is a collaboration between UNC-TV and SCETV, and the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF).