|The Greensboro Four|
Friends, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), Joseph McNeil, and David Richmond, knew that they were violating segregation laws, but that was the point…they wanted to challenge and change them, in Greensboro. So, they did not leave when asked to; and instead, despite the Police Chief being called, quietly sat at the counter until Woolworth’s closed early that day. Franklin McCain recalled, "Fifteen seconds after [we sat down], I had the most wonderful feeling. I had a feeling of liberation and restored manhood. I had a natural high. And I truly felt almost invincible. Mind you, [I was] just sitting on a dumb stool and had not yet asked for service."
The following day, The Greensboro Four (as they eventually came to be known) brought fifteen of their fellow students, from The Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina (now North Carolina A&T State University), and the print and broadcast news media covered the sit-in. By the third day, there were three hundred protesters, and Woolworth’s was still standing by the ‘local segregation policies’.
Desegregation sit-ins did not begin with, nor end with, The Greensboro Four. In fact, they dated back as far as 1939, when an African-American attorney staged a sit-in at a segregated library in
|Woolworth's Sit-in, Jackson, Mississippi, May 1963|