The Greensboro Four were four young black men who staged the first sit-in at Greensboro. They were Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil. All four were students from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College.
The Greensboro Four were influenced by the non-violent protest techniques practiced by Mohandas Gandhi, as well as the Freedom Rides organized by the Congress for racial equality in 1947.
Participants in the Freedom Rides were interracial activists who rode across the South in buses to test a recent Supreme Court decision banning segregation and interstate bus travel. The Greensboro Four were also spurred into action by the brutal murder of young Emmett Till in 1955 who was killed for “allegedly” whistling at a white woman in a Mississippi store. On February 1, 1960, the four students sat down at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Greensboro. Denied service, the four young men refused to give up their seats and this is their story.