A&T Four Legacy Remains Relevant; N.C. A&T to Celebrate 57th Sit-In Anniversary

01/27/2017 Alumni, Employees, Students

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 27, 2017) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will honor the courageous legacy of Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond -- better known collectively as the A&T Four – on Wednesday, Feb. 1, in the Alumni Foundation Event Center as part of the 57th Anniversary of the February One Sit-In.

In 1960, the four freshmen sat down at a segregated F.W. Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro to protest segregation laws and societal norms they deemed to be unfair and unjust. Their singular act has been credited with igniting “sit-in” demonstrations across the country, particularly by college students.

Decades later, their protest remains of the most well-known sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement. While Khazan and McNeil are the only surviving members of the legendary group (Richmond passed away in 1990 and McCain in 2014), all are deeply venerated at A&T: A sculpture of the Four is one of the campus’ most beloved landmarks, and four residence halls bear their names.

This year’s theme, “Legacy to Legacy: The Movement and Beyond,” connects the Four’s place in history as gamechangers and active participants for social justice in their community with the current continued fight for equality and justice.

More than just a historic example, the A&T Four’s actions continue to serve today as a model for non-violent approaches to social change, informing activists today in responding to current social injustices.

The celebration will include:

  • the Sit-In Breakfast beginning at 6 a.m. (program 7 a.m.)
  • presentations and special guests including surviving members of the A&T Four
  • a symbolic, collective walk to the Deese Clock Tower
  • a laying of a memorial wreath at the February One Monument and
  • a student roundtable discussion with the A&T Four in Harrison Auditorium

During the breakfast, the university will also present the Human Rights Medal to a deserving citizen selected from nominations submitted to the University Awards Committee. A&T bestows the annual award to recognize individuals who have endeavored to correct societal injustice and have significantly contributed to the betterment of the world.

The Sit-In Anniversary Breakfast and Celebration is free and open to the public.