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

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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.

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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.


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

    Franklin McCain

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    McCain was raised in Washington, DC, where he graduated from Eastern High School. McCain often speaks of growing up as a product of the "Big Lie," which is his name for his parents' claim that if he stayed out of trouble and earned good grades, he could do anything in life. He later realized that the color of his skin made his parents' claim unrealistic. After high school, McCain attended Greensboro-based North Carolina A&T College. His freshman-year roommate was David Richmond, another member of the Greensboro Four. In 1963 McCain graduated from A&T with a degree in chemistry and biology. He stayed in Greensboro to pursue a master's degree and then began his career with the Celanese Corporation in Charlotte, NC, where he stayed for almost 35 years. McCain married Bettye Davis, a fellow participant in the Greensboro civil rights demonstrations. They raised three sons together. Now retired, McCain has remained active in many civic activities, including serving as chair of the North Carolina regional committee for the NAACP legal defense and education fund.

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