Greensboro Four

By: Jaden Brinkley


  1. The four students that started the Greensboro sit-in were all freshmen at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; their names are Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, David Richmond, and Ezell Blair Jr. (later called Jibreel Khazan).
  2. The Greensboro Four with the assistance of a local white businessman by the name of Ralph Johns coordinated the event and alerted the media to the sit-in.
  3. On the second day of the Greensboro sit-in reporters showed up, and by the fourth day over three hundred protesters, mostly black students, were involved. In the following weeks similar protest broke out at whites only counters throughout North Carolina and other southern states.
  4. Many of the protesters involved in sit-ins were arrested on various charges including disturbing the peace, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.
  5. Largely due to the Greensboro Sit-In and other civil rights protest the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed which made whites-only lunch counters illegal along with racial segregation in all public places.
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In Depth

On February 1st of 1960 four young black college students sat down at the "whites only" lunch counter at the Woolworth Department store in Greensboro, North Carolina. White only lunch counters were consider legal at that time due to the concept that "separate but equal" did not constitute discrimination. The employees working the counter refused to serve the four men and the store manager asked them to leave. The men bravely stayed until the store closed and returned the next day. This brave act was an extremely important event in black history and one of the major events that sparked the Civil Rights Movement.The sit-ins spread too many other southern cities along with an economic boycott of many stores that had segregated counters resulting in desegregation of many of these lunch counters.

Although they all came from different backgrounds, they united under one common goal: Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and his non-violent practices. The four students who staged the protest, all of them male freshmen, had read about nonviolent protest. One of the four, Joseph McNeil, worked part-time in the university library with Eula Hudgens, an alumna of the school who had participated in freedom rides. McNeil and Hudgens regularly discussed nonviolent protest. Freedom Riders were a series of bus trips through the American South to protest segregation in interstate bus terminals. The boys were willing to do whatever they had to, to make Martin Luther King Jr's dream come true.