They sat down at a segregated Greensboro lunch counter and stepped into history.
Nearly six decades later, Rep. Alma Adams and Ted Budd want Congress to honor the Greensboro Four, the four North Carolina A&T State University freshman whose sit-in at downtown Greensboro’s F.W. Woolworth store became a defining moment in the civil rights movement.
Adams, D-Charlotte, and Budd, R-N.C., introduced a resolution Thursday “to recognize the contributions” of Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond.
The four African-American men took seats at the whites-only counter at the Woolworth’s on Feb. 1, 1960, but were not served. They returned the next day with more students, which triggered similar protests throughout North Carolina and the segregated South.
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“These students’ peaceful actions sparked a national movement that led to more than 700,000 people participating in sit-ins nationwide,” Adams said in a statement.
The Greensboro Woolworth lunch counter was integrated on July 26, 1960. Today, stools and a section of the store’s lunch counter are on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
Budd, R-N.C., said that the action of the four students “sparked a movement across North Carolina that moved our state and country toward a better future.”
The Greensboro Four sit in served as a catalyst for the mobilization of college students in the Civil Rights Movement
Rep. Ted Budd, R-N.C.
The resolution calls on Congress to recognize the historic contributions of the Greensboro Four and “encourages all states to include in their…educational curriculum the history” and contributions of the four in “North Carolina and the country as a whole.”
The measure is co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield and David Price and Republican Reps. George Holding, Walter Jones, Mark Walker, David Price, Virginia Foxx, David Rouzer, and Richard Hudson.