Feb. 1, 1960: The Greensboro Sit-in Begins

Greensboro Sit-In Participants

The participants after leaving the Woolworth’s by a side exit. (L-R): David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and Joseph McNeil. (No photographers were allowed into the Woolworth’s during this first protest.)  © Corbis.

On February 1, 1960, four African-American North Carolina A&T University students, Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil, began a sit-in protest at a Woolworth’s whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, where they had been refused service.

Their protest, while not the first sit-in of the modern Civil Rights Movement, triggered a wave of direct action through sit-ins across the United States.

The Zinn Education Project offers books and films for the classroom on the sit-ins movement.



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