Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) originally possessed the same goals of applying a peaceful and non-violent approach to promote racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement. Initially, SNCC was set up to allow young members of the African American community to be able to express their political and social views. However, the main factor for the tensions between these civil-rights groups was that SNCC strived for faster progress, whereas King’s SCLC promoted non-violence as a way of life.
The primary conflict between the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was manifested in the application of the idea of non-violence. Younger and more ambitious SNCC members used the given concept as a political statement rather than a sole solution for racism. In addition, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee possessed a bottom-up organizing strategy, whereas King’s style of leadership and governance was top-down. This difference in group management played an essential role in growing tensions between SCLC and SNCC. King showed his concern regarding these issues during his imprisonment in Birmingham. The tension between these two groups escalated further when, in 1965, King went to preach in the Atlanta church, whereas SNCC members went for demonstration. They faced a highly violent form of oppression, which made the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee dislike King’s non-involvement.
In conclusion, it is important to understand that the relationship between the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee worsened in a gradual manner. The series of events that led to the growing tension among these groups played an essential role in the application of the non-violence approach. In addition, SCLC had a top-down form of leadership, whereas SNCC was organized in a bottom-up way.