On Feb. 1, 1960, four students from all-black North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College walked into a Woolworth five-and-dime with the intention of ordering lunch.
But the manager of the Greensboro Woolworth had intentions of his own — to maintain the lunch counter's strict whites-only policy.
Franklin McCain was one of the four young men who shoved history forward by refusing to budge.
McCain remembers the anxiety he felt when he went to the store that Monday afternoon, the plan he and his friends had devised to launch their protest and how he felt when he sat down on that stool.
"Fifteen seconds after … I had the most wonderful feeling. I had a feeling of liberation, restored manhood. I had a natural high. And I truly felt almost invincible. Mind you, [I was] just sitting on a dumb stool and not having asked for service yet," McCain says.
"It's a feeling that I don't think that I'll ever be able to have again. It's the kind of thing that people pray for … and wish for all their lives and never experience it. And I felt as though I wouldn't have been cheated out of life had that been the end of my life at that second or that moment."
Friday, February 01, 2008
An anniversary of note
I heard a report on NPR today called "The Woolworth Sit-In That Launched a Movement".
Here's how it gets started:
I remember this well. I was ten years old and in the fifth grade in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The event sent shock waves throughout the South.
How incredibly brave these young men were. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude.