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From 1960 to 1967, both non-violent and more aggressiveprotests occurred against racial discrimination. On February 1, 1960, Ezell Blair Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain launched the Greensboro sit-ins. In just two months the sit-in movement spread to 54 cities in 9 states.
On the same date, on Market Street, Ezell Blair Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain entered the Elm Street Woolworth's and purchased school supplies and other items. They then approached the lunch counter and ordered coffee and were refused service. The four remained in their seats until closing a half hour later. The sit-in lasted until February 3.
On February 4, 1960, three white women from the Woman's College joined the demonstrations, as did students from other area colleges. Sit-ins also began at the S.H. Kress store. The next day, more than 300 students took part in the protest. On February 6, 1960 hundreds of students, including the A&T football team, descended on the downtown area. This day became known as "Black Saturday."
Sit-ins spread throughout the state during the second and third week in February, beginning with Raleigh and Charlotte on the 8th and 9th. On February 19, the NC Council of Churches endorsed the sit-ins. On April 21, another sit-in occurs at the Kress store when forty-five young blacks marched into the Kress store and refused to leave the lunch counter. They were the only blacks arrested during the entire demonstration.
In 1964, protests began to become more violent, beginning in Harlem on August 30, 1964, when serious racial disturbances occured in more than six major cities. On January 2, 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) launched a voter drive in Selma, Alabama, escalating into a nationwide protest movement. May 1-October 1, 1967 was the worst summer for racial disturbances in U.S. history, as more than 40 riots and 100 other disturbances occurred.
From The Greensboro Sit-ins: Launch of a Civil Rights Movement.