03 February 2010

50 years since Greensboro

Photo credit: Mark Pellegrini, CC-BY-SA-2.5

It seems scarcely possible that it was just fifty years ago, on 1 February 1960, that four black students in Greensboro, N.C. sparked a sea change in civil rights by quietly sitting down at a segregated lunch counter:

The students — Ezell Blair Jr. (later Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil — were not served that day because they were black. Woolworth’s was abiding by the local custom of only serving whites. [...]

Word spread throughout the campus of what they had done at the lunch counter and what had happened. By the following day, more than 20 students appeared at the lunch counter ready to sit in and protest. Soon, crowds of students were protesting at the stores regularly. [...]

By August 1960, six months after the initial Greensboro sit-in, lunch counters throughout the South announced that they were now integrated. [progressive.org]


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