They wanted a cup of coffee. And to right a wrong.
There were four African-American men – Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond – all students at Greensboro’s NC A&T State University. They were inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s nonviolent protests against racial discrimination. What could they do?
They went to Woolworth’s whites-only counter one afternoon in 1960, sat down and ordered coffee. They waited. And waited. They quietly waited until the store closed. Soon afterwards, their nonviolent actions spread across the nation. Today, part of that lunch counter is located in the Smithsonian.