Save the Date : It’s About Us
On February 1, 2021, SAGE General Manager Joseph McNeil, Jr. will give tribute on behalf of his father, Joseph McNeil, at North Carolina A&T University’s 61st anniversary celebration of a courageous act of unity that changed America.
The act occurred on February 1, 1960, when four young black men – Jibreel Khazan (formally Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond – known collectively as the A&T Four – sat down at a “Whites Only” lunch counter at Woolworth’s Department Store in a peaceful demonstration and request of equal service.
Their act of unity sparked the sit-in movement across the United States, further amplifying the voice of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
To put the impact of their protest in perspective, here are some events that occurred as a result of this bold action by these four young men:
- February 2nd, 1960 — twenty–five other students from A&T and other Greensboro colleges and universities joined them.
- During the next 10 days, students across the state participated in similar sit–ins.
- By the third week of February 1960, demonstrations had spread to at least 250 major cities and towns in the U.S. in which over 400 demonstrations took place by the end of 1960.
- Woolworth’s was desegregated by the end of July 1960.
(Source: Bluford Library, N.C. A&T University)
The legacy of their sit-in serves as a powerful example of the impact that peaceful protest can have in the face of adversity, which we have experienced recently here at Standing Rock during the #NoDAPL protests.
This year’s theme, It’s About Us, is a reference to the Black Voters Matter campaign, whose aim is to increase the influence, power, and representation of Black people through effective policy, and to invest in grassroots Black-led groups
To register for the FREE event, please click here.
You Might Also Like
On January 12, 2021, Jack Healy at The New York Times reported on the devastating toll that the Coronavirus has taken on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Indigenous nations in the U.S.
The catastrophic loss of elders at Standing Rock will have a profound impact on our youth, as the pandemic continues to sever the younger generations’ relationship to their own culture – the language, wisdom, and Lakota/Dakota traditions that are typically passed down from the elders.