Essay Example on Group of four African American college Students









In 1960 Ezell Blair Jr Franklin McCain Joseph McNeil and David Richmond were a group of four African American college students who sat down in protest at a whites only lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina in 1960 At that time many facilities in the United States especially in the South were racially segregated World Book 1 In other words people who were not white could not use many public and or private services and or businesses This paper will focus on the Greensboro Four the conflict of segregated lunch counters what they did what laws were made The Greensboro Four wanted segregation to be outlawed in the U S They met in their free time to discuss civil rights and segregation They kept thinking of plans to protest but never actually put those plans into action The breaking point for the group came after Christmas vacation when Joseph McNeil was returning to N C A T after spending the holidays at home in New York McNeil was denied service at a Greyhound bus station in Greensboro 

The Greensboro Chronology 2 As a result of this conflict the four friends began to protest segregation on February 1 by sitting at a whites only lunch counter Although they were denied service the friends sat and studied until the store closed The next day they came back with more students and sat down at the whites only counter again Although they had many people who supported their movement people who backed segregation counter protested them For example Members of the Ku Klux Klan including the state s official chaplain George Dorsett were present White patrons taunted the students as they studied The Greensboro Chronology 8 As a result protesters from both parties were arrested by local police for yelling taunting and violet activity A more detailed look at how the protest unfolded is On February 1 Ezell Blair Franklin McCain Joseph McNeil and David Richmond walked into a F W Woolworth store bought merchandise then they sat down at a food counter reserved for whites The counter refused to serve they but they sat and studied until the store closed The next day the four came back with more protesters they recruited on their college campus They repeated and sat down at the whites only counter and were still denied service though they stayed and studied again Soon the protest gained more attention and people who supported segregation taunted and harassed the students during their protest Eventually tempers rose and members of the white supremacist group called the Ku Klux Klan KKK began to act violently toward the protesters As a result the police had to become involved and arrested several people for violent activities

As the days passed the sit in got more and more attention and supporters On February 4 More than 300 students participate in the protests Students from N C A T Bennett College and Dudley High School occupied every seat at the lunch counter Three white supporters Genie Seaman Marilyn Lott and Ann Dearsley from the Woman s College of the University of North Carolina now UNCG The Greensboro Chronology 9 A crucial day in the protest was February 6 For example Early that morning more than 1 400 N C A T students met in Harrison Auditorium After voting to continue the protest many headed to the F W Woolworth store They filled every seat as the store opened A large number of counter protesters showed up as well By noon more than 1 000 people packed the store The Greensboro Chronology 13 Also a caller said a bomb was set to go off at the store at 1 30 the crowd moved to another store which quickly closed Soon the sit ins and other acts of freedom of assembly had inspired more people to rise against segregation and they had spread to 55 cities and 13 states by April After months of students protesting as well as violence and arrests Woolworth finally integrated it s Greensboro lunch counter for everyone on July 25 1960 F W Woolworth employees Charles Bess Mattie Long Susie Morrison and Jamie Robinson are the first African Americans to eat at the lunch counter The headline of The Greensboro Record read Lunch Counters Integrated Here The Greensboro Chronology 29 All across America the Greensboro sit ins inspired more than 70 000 people had participated in sit ins which resulted in more than 3 000 arrests Sit ins at whites only lunch counters inspired subsequent kneel ins at segregated churches sleep ins at segregated motel lobbies swim ins at segregated pools wade ins at segregated beaches read ins at segregated libraries play ins at segregated parks and watch ins at segregated movies The Greensboro Chronology 32 Soon laws were passed to end segregation everywhere in the U S not just Greensboro which was a small step against discrimination in the U S

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