The Hive was buzzing last night as our Charlotte Hornets took on The Brooklyn Nets. Not only was it a night of great basketball, it was also a night to celebrate 4 special men…David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), Joe McNeil a.k.a The Greensboro 4. If you are unfamiliar with their story, let me shine the light on these 4 Dynamic Civil RIghts Leaders.
On February 1, 1960, 4 African American students from North Carolina A&T State University walked into a Greensboro Woolworth lunch counter, sat down at the “whites only” counter, and refused to move until local businesses agreed to serve African Americans alongside their white patrons. The young college students became known as “The Greensboro 4”.
In the midst of bomb threats, police threats, physical violence, and counter-protesters spewing hate, The Greensboro 4 never budged and continued their silent protest until the close of business that day. The next day 12 more students joined the protest. The numbers continued to grow in the following days with youth protesting against racial discrimination not only in Greensboro, but all over the Carolina’s (including Charlotte, Durham, and Winston-Salem).
Almost 6 months after the sit in begin, on July 26, The Greensboro 4 led the way for a victory. Local businesses agreed to serve African Americans alongside their white patrons.
A monument of The Greensboro 4 is located on the campus of North Carolina A&T State Univesity. The Woolworth store closed in 1993 but still open to the public as the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. And a section of the lunch counter with four stools is on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.
As I got in the elevator at the game last night, I joined a beautiful couple that was DECKED OUT in NCA&T gear. Imagine my surprise, when I saw the same couple walk out the court to be recognized as family members of one of The Greensboro 4. I was on the elevator with Civil Rights Royalty and had no idea! ( I just thought they were a fly older couple).
Their are 2 members of The Greensboro 4 that are still living. Unfortunately, their were not able to make the celebration last night but their family members were there. Handclaps for The Charlotte Hornets for recognizing a part of African American and North Carolina history.