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  • Founded in April 1960 in Raleigh, NC, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) helped to bring student activists together and to stimulate their efforts at fighting segregation.  SNCC was instrumental in staging sit-ins across the South in 1960.  These lapel pins were one way to show support for the students' efforts.

    Support Southern Students: SNCC pins

  • To mark the unveiling of the Greensboro Woolworth's Lunch Counter Display, NMAH held a public dedication on January 14, 1995.  Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair, Jr.), Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain were present to discuss the sit-ins and their memories of the Civil Rights movement.  In this video, Khazan recalls his interaction with the counter workers and some of the store's white patrons.

    A Counter Becomes History

  • Ezell Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, and David Richmond, the four students who began the Greensboro Sit-in, started school at North Carolina A&T in the fall of 1959. They spent evenings talking about the condition of African Americans in the United States and the need to take action. David Richmond, recalls that "We challenged each other, really. We constantly heard about all the evils that are occurring and how blacks are mistreated and nobody was doing anything about it. . . . We used to question, 'Why is it that you have to sit in the balcony? Why do you have to ride in the back of the bus?'" In this interview conducted in 1979, Joseph McNeil gives his own account of February 1, 1960.

    How it Originated: Joseph McNeil's Story, Part II

  • Why was Greensboro the locale for this important sit-in?

  • Is the lunch counter as it was used in 1960?

  • What are some of the challenges for a curator displaying the lunch counter?

  • Are there things about the lunch counter that a visitor to the museum might not see or understand when they encounter the object?

  • How has the museum displayed the lunch counter?

  • How did the Woolworth's lunch counter become part of NMAH's collections?

  • What was the impact of the sit-ins?

  • What is the early twenty-first century equivalent of the mid-twentieth-century lunch counter?

  • Why is this lunch counter special?

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