On Feb. 1, 1960, four black men refused to get up from a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. Little did they know that their actions would catapult the height of the Civil Rights Movement and change the course of history.
Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair and David Richmond — known as “The Greensboro Four” — were all freshmen at North Carolina A&T University. Like all blacks, they were fed up with racial segregation and being treated like second class citizens. Laws were changing some things slowly, such as the Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education to integrate schools six years earlier. Enough was enough. So The Greensboro Four went to the Woolworth’s lunch counter and ordered some coffee.
At the time, Woolworth's refused to serve black people. The Four were denied service and asked to leave, but instead, they remained seated until the lunch counter closed. They courageously stood their ground. And then they returned to campus with an inspiring tale to tell. That ignited the spark.
Photo source: www.restaurant-ingthroughhistory.com
By the next day, 25 black protesters joined them at Woolworths. White patrons spit on them and tried to get them to leave. But they stood firm and would not be moved. Reporters then showed and illuminated this sit-in to the national stage.
A movement was born. Black people in more than 30 cities in 8 states, who were sick of the injustices they faced, started their own sit-ins at white-only lunch counters. The sit-in movement spread and defined the year 1960, bringing segregated establishments to make a change.
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The Greensboro Four are credited with this bold, and much needed shift, in the Civil Rights Movement of the '60s .
With the start of Black History Month and the 56th year anniversary of the start of the Civil Rights Movement, it’s important to look back and remember those who fought and risked their lives to be treated as equals.
How are you celebrating Black History Month? Learn more here...
Photo courtesy: www.longisland.news12.comThis post was originally published on Switch Media