N.C. A&T to Celebrate 64th Anniversary of A&T Four’s Historic Sit-In

01/24/2024 Alumni, Students

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 24, 2024) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University community will gather once again Feb. 1 to celebrate the remarkable legacy of four A&T freshmen who electrified the civil rights movement in 1960 with their courageous sit-in at the downtown Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter – an event that served as a catalyst to change public accommodations laws across the nation.

The 64th Sit-In Anniversary Breakfast and Wreath Laying will take place at the North Carolina A&T Alumni-Foundation Event Center, 200 N. Benbow Road. Themed “The Gathering: Strength in Our Unity,” the event will begin with breakfast starting at 7 a.m. and a program at 8 a.m. It celebrates the A&T Four: Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.) and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Joseph McNeil, who are not expected to attend this year’s gathering, the late Franklin McCain Sr. and the late David Richmond Jr.

The program will honor critically acclaimed sculptor James Barnhill, Ph.D., who created the iconic February One monument at A&T. The statue depicting the A&T Four walking purposefully alongside each other is the most photographed element of the university’s 132-year-old campus. Barnhill installed the sculpture in 2002 in front of Dudley Memorial Building. The monument and Dudley are part of a National Historic District comprising the western side of A&T’s 200-acre campus.

The program will also feature presentation of the Human Rights Medal, the university’s highest honor for contributions to civil rights, civil liberties and/or human rights, to an honoree whose name will be revealed at the event. Past honorees include the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls and MacArthur Genius Grant winner the Rev. William J. Barber II.

The event will also include “The Gathering Conversation,” a panel discussion featuring:

  • Jelani Favors, Ph.D., Henry E. Frye Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science and director of the A&T Center of Excellence in Social Justice
  • Kennedy Lighty, an A&T senior majoring in political science
  • Tiffany Seawright, director of Leadership and Engagement at A&T
  • Oliver M. Thomas, Ph.D., director of External Affairs at A&T

Following the breakfast and program, participants will walk to the February One monument and lay a wreath in honor of McCain and Richmond. The N.C. A&T Fellowship Gospel Choir, which will perform at the breakfast, will sing at the wreath ceremony as well.

Students are invited to attend a social justice discussion after the wreath ceremony from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. in Harrison Auditorium.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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