Watch Again

Why The Greensboro Four Sit-In Almost Didn't Happen

Watch More
back to video

Why The Greensboro Four Sit-In Almost Didn't Happen

Short | 02:16

When four college freshmen began to talk about affecting change within their community, only three were up for the challenge.

More About This show

In February of 1960, a simple coffee order at America's favorite five-and-dime store sparked a series of events that would help put an end to segregation in the United States. Join us as we detail the extraordinary story of otherwise ordinary young men, four African-American college students whose nonviolent sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter started a revolution.


  • David Richmond
  • Franklin McCain
  • Joseph McNeil
  • Apostle Doctor Jibreel Khazan, PhD
  • NARRATOR - Anna Deavere Smith
  • David Richmond

    David Richmond

    Read Full Bio
    Born to a family of Greensboro natives, David Richmond was no stranger to the town where he would make civil rights history. Richmond graduated from Dudley High School. His classmates remember him as a soft-spoken young man possessing extraordinary athletic ability, demonstrated by his state high jump record set in 1959. Throughout college, Richmond remained in Greensboro and continued his education at North Carolina A&T College, where he shared a college dorm room with Franklin McCain, another member of the Greensboro Four. Richmond studied business and accounting, but he left college just three credits shy of fulfilling his degree. Richmond worked as a job counselor with Greensboro's Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) program. He eventually left the city after receiving death threats, but he returned almost a decade later to care for his parents. He was the only member of the Greensboro Four to return to the city. The Greensboro Chamber of Commerce awarded Richmond the Levi Coffin Award for leadership in human rights in 1980. He was known for doing favors for those in need, especially for filing taxes for many of his neighbors. Richmond's family says that he wished he could have done more to improve society. He died in December 1990 of lung cancer. A&T later awarded him a posthumous honorary doctoral degree.
Return to Video Page