Woolworth's Sit-ins, Greensboro, North Carolina

Four well-dressed black college freshmen, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr. (later known as Jibreel Khazan), and David Richmond, from the traditionally black college, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, known as the Greensboro Four, challenged Jim Crow laws when they sat down at the segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter.

The young men asked politely to be served, sparking similar protests and racial demonstrations across the nation in the south and the north. These  young college freshmen, who had earned the deserving title of the Greensboro Four, were refused service at the lunch counter because Woolworth ‘s headquarters had decreed that the company policy was “to abide by local custom.” Local custom, of course, was Jim Crow custom.

The persistence of the Greensboro Four every day following that first day caused other students, including female and white students, to join them. As news spread over the nation, similar actions were repeated in other cities across America, bringing down the old Jim Crow laws  that represented segregation and overt discrimination against African Americans and other non-white people.

For more information on the Woolworth’s Sit-ins and topics related to this significant American historical era, read the following articles.

Race Relations in America, the Woolworth’s Sit-ins – Woolworth’s sit-ins by black and white college students to integrate lunch counters in Greensboro NC between in 1960 observed nonviolence from Rosa Parks, changing race relations in the Jim Crow South and across the nation.

Land Grants, Race Relations and Woolworth’sThe Greensboro Four who led the 1960 Woolworth’s sit-ins, were from a traditionally black college funded under the 1890 Morrill Land Grant College Act. This article shows you how to write search engine friendly web content to get free publicity for your book and to use your talents and interests–cooking, sports, music, history or other–to become an expert in your field and a public speaker on your topic.

Justin Morrill Land Grant College Acts, 1862 & 1890Justin Smith Morrill fought Jim Crow laws writing Land Grant College Acts of 1862 and 1890 to educate black and white students and, 100 years later, land grant college students protested Jim Crow laws by leading the Woolworth’s Sit-ins in Greensboro NC in 1960.

List of Sunny Nash Race Relations Blogger Posts


bigmama didn't shop at woolworths book

Bigmama Didn't Shop nAt Woolworth's by Sunny Nash

My book, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s, began when I was writing columns for Hearst and Knight-Ridder Newspapers in the 1990s. The columns were comprised of stories from my childhood in the pre-civil rights Jim Crow South with my grandmother, Bigmama, my parents, relatives, friends, teachers and others in my life. I had no idea that these little vignettes would garner so much interest nationwide. But they did.

With that, a managing editor at Texas A&M University Press, Mary Lenn Dixon, saw the merit in compiling these stories into a book and approached me about creating a manuscript of selected articles for review and eventual publication. What a break! I agreed. And the book was born. When Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s came out, it was selected as a resource for understanding race relations in the United States by the Association of American University Presses. As a result, some authorities consider me a leading author on race relations, quoting me in articles and reference books, and including my work in anthologies.

 Listed in the Bibliographic Guide to Black Studies by the Schomburg Center in New York, Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s is also recommended for Native American collections by the Miami-Dade Public Library System in Florida. Because my family has deep roots in Comanche heritage, Native American collections have begun to use my book to look at the connections its makes between African American and Native American bloodlines and culture in the Central Texas region.

Robin Fruble of Southern California said, “Every white person in America should read this book (Bigmama Didn’t Shop At Woolworth’s)! Sunny Nash writes the story of her childhood without preaching or ranting but she made me realize for the first time just how much skin color changes how one experiences the world.  But, if your skin color is brown, it matters a great deal to a great number of people. I needed to learn that. Sunny Nash is a great teacher,” Fruble said.

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