50 Years Later: Greensboro Four Sit-in

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

Photo: Greensboro News Record

At a time where standing up for justice is mandatory, sitting down doesn't sound like the most revolutionary act. But it was most radical half a century ago.

Today marks the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the "Sit-in Movement." Four students from North Carolina A & T stood up for civil rights by going to a segregated Woolworth's store in Greensboro and sitting down.

At the time, the apartheid - Jim Crow - South-Woolworth store did not allow Black people to sit at the lunch counters (although they could stand and eat inside the store). The lunch counter was for whites-only.

Photo: Mark Pelligrini

Initially, the store manager left the young men alone thinking that they'd leave. The next day they came back with more folks and by the end of the week, there were over 300 students with them.

The Greensboro sit-ins launched a movement. Within that week, other students were sitting in throughout the state, and the country.

This marks the beginning of direct-action tactics that young people of the Warrior Class are so eager to engage in.

Photo: Smithsonian Institute

These student movements eventually led to the Freedom Rides, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Student Movement, Black Student Unions and Black Studies.

When I was younger, a sit-in did seem very revolutionary to me. As El Hajj Malik El Shabazz once stated, "Anyone can sit. An old woman can sit." However, in context, I can understand the profound significance of one "asserting their citizenship" by sitting down.

A civil rights museum now marks the spot where the Greensboro Four acted.

As a Black student, I am greatful for their actions. And as I sit in class today, I realize that the legacy of Greensboro Four sitting, allowed me to stand proud today.



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Insight into my daily regimen. Obviously of a different specimen. Me, myself & I. So fly. Welcome to the Daily Regiment.

This blog is an outlet for me to write about my life experiences. While there will be consistent themes in my writing -- because I am what I project in written form -- the topics will vary from day to day, and post to post.

If you are interested in my formal news reporting, you can visit The Reginald James Report or The Black Hour.

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