The Greensboro Four: (left to right) David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell A. Blair, Jr., and Joseph McNeil.
“The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in February to July 1960, primarily in the Woolworth store—now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum—in Greensboro, North Carolina, which led to the F. W. Woolworth Company department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States. While not the first sit-in of the civil rights movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, and also the best-known sit-ins of the civil rights movement. They are considered a catalyst to the subsequent sit-in movement, in which 70,000 people participated. This sit-in was a contributing factor in the formation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In August 1939, African-American attorney Samuel Wilbert Tucker organized the Alexandria Library sit-in in Virginia (now the Alexandria Black History Museum). … The Greensboro Four (as they would soon be known) were Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and David Richmond, all young black students at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in their freshman year who often met in their dorm rooms to discuss what they could do to stand against segregation. They were inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and his practice of nonviolent protest, and specifically wanted to change the segregational policies of F. W. Woolworth Company in Greensboro, North Carolina. During Christmas vacation of 1959, McNeil attempted to buy a hot dog at the Greensboro Greyhound Lines bus station, but was refused service. Shortly thereafter, the four men decided that it was time to take action against segregation. They came up with a simple plan: they would occupy seats at the local F. W. Woolworth Company store, ask to be served, and when they were inevitably denied service, they would not leave. They would repeat this process every day for as long as it would take. Their goal was to attract widespread media attention to the issue, forcing Woolworth to implement desegregation. …”
YouTube: 1st February 1960: Start of the Greensboro sit-ins to protest segregation