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Black History Notes


Greensboro sit-in

Four black male college students began a sit-in on February 1, 1960 that made the nation stand up and take notice.

The students took seats at Woolworth’s whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., forcing the department store chain to eventually drop its segregationist policies.

Greensboro Four. Their sit-in made people stand up.

The students —- Ezell Blair Jr. (Jibreel Khazan), Franklin McClain, David Richmond and Joseph McNeil —- were freshman at North Carolina AT&T. They did not leave the lunch counter when employees refused to serve them. The next day more students participated in the sit-in and similar civil rights demonstrations spread to other parts of the country.

The students were influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, the Freedom Riders, the Congress of Racial Equality and the brutal murder of Emmett Till.

The lunch counter is now a civil rights museum.

Kentucky refuses to ratify the 13th Amendment

On February 24, 1865, Kentucky refused to ratify the 13th Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery.

Unarmed Trayvon Martin shot to death

Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old who wanted to become either a pilot or an airplane mechanic, was shot to death on February 26, 2012 by George Zimmerman a security guard in Sanford, Florida.

Trayvon Martin

An all-women’s jury, most of them white, acquitted Zimmerman, a white Hispanic of killing Martin who was unarmed.

Martin had studied with Barrington Irving, the first black man and at one time the youngest to fly solo around the world.

If he had lived, Martin would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on February 5th. His death sparked the Black Lives Matter Movement.


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