They Sat Down to Take a Stand, Starting a Movement

A Simple Plan

Before becoming known as the “Greensboro Four,” Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Jibreel Khazan, and David Richmond, were students in their freshman year at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. They would meet in their dorm rooms to discuss their options – ways in which they could stand against segregation. They were inspired by leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., especially his practice of nonviolent protest.


The Greensboro Four. Source: Twitter

The students specifically wanted to change the segregation policies of F. W. Woolworth in their town. During Christmas 1959, McNeil tried to buy a hot dog at the local Greyhound bus station, but he was refused service. After that, the guys decided to take action. Their plan was simple: occupy the seats at Woolworth’s, ask to be served, and when they were denied service as expected, they just wouldn’t leave.

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