Sit-ins begin at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC.

March 26, 2024 by Troy

Photo credit: Greensboro News and Records

The Greensboro Four, consisting of Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and David Richmond, were young Black students enrolled in their freshman year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. United by a common desire to combat segregation, they frequently gathered in their dorm rooms to strategize and discuss ways to challenge racial inequality.

 

Influenced by Martin Luther King Jr.’s advocacy for nonviolent protest, the Greensboro Four sought to address the segregational policies of the F. W. Woolworth Company. Upon sitting in the white-only section of Woolworth’s lunch counter, they were denied service, prompting a daily return with an increasing number of protestors who often faced harassment from other patrons. While not the first sit-in of the civil rights movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were pivotal and widely recognized, catalyzing the broader sit-in movement that engaged 70,000 participants.