NC A&T Four Freshmen
(l-r David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., Joseph McNeil)
On February 1, 1960 , David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), and Joseph McNeil displayed their moral strength to withstand the danger of bigotry by initiating the lunch counter sit-in. This historical event took place at the downtown Woolworth's Five & Dime store in Greensboro, N.C. At the time they were all freshmen students at North Carolina A&T State University. Thus they were and will always be known as the "Four Freshmen". Located in Greensboro, N.C., the predominately black N.C., A&T was chartered as a land grant college in 1890.
Their civil disobedience was designed to rid America of a social injustice otherwise know as segregation. Considered as a defining moment in civil rights history, the four freshman's courageous act inspired similar movements across the nation.
I was just a child at the time, barely in kindergarten when this earth shattering event occurred in my hometown of Greensboro. Their action would forever change my life. I remember vividly having to go to an island inside Woolworth to order a hotdog and soft drink. All people of color including my beloved maternal grandmother ("Mama II") had to suffer this indignity. As African Americans, we were prohibited by law from sitting at the lunch counter. Imagine standing with your packages eating a hotdog and holding a soft drink. Now approaching a half of century in this world, I have accomplished plenty, including graduating from NC A&T State University, and Howard University School of Law. I am proud of my accomplishments, but nothing has made me as proud as the day I witnessed an unforgettable smile on my maternal grandmother's face, as she sat for the very first time at that Woolworth's lunch counter.
I will always be grateful to David Richmond of whom I had the pleasure of working with in the CETA program and the rest of his comrades.
This website is dedicated to the "Four Freshmen" and all the unsung heroes/heroines (including my Mama II) who at some point in their life made a sacrifice to inspire and uplift our community.
FFebruary One Monument