Monday, February 1, 2010

Black History Month: 50 years ago today

Ezell A. Blair Jr. David Leinhail Richmond. Joseph Alfred McNeil. Franklin Eugene McCain.

On this date in 1960*, these four incredibly courageous young college students sat down at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., and asked to be served. They were African American. The seats were designated for whites only.

The era of sit-ins for civil rights had begun.

By the next morning, these four were joined by 27 more. Within days, hundreds had joined the sit-in.

I will try over the course of this month to post recommendations for books about and by participants in the great civil rights movement of the 1950s, 1960s and onward to this moment when the struggle still very much continues. For today, I simply salute the Woolworth Four, 50 years on.

*I apologize for the typo in the original posting, which had 1960 as 1950.