In the 1950s and 1960s, Civil Rights became a focal point for Greensboro, North Carolina — especially during the now iconic Greensboro sit-ins.
While this was an important moment in many places around the country, the national Sit-In Movement was birthed at the Greensboro Woolworth, a five-and-dime store that also served lunch.
The activists who would become known as the Greensboro Four were students at the local A&T College. One day in 1960, they walked up to the Woolworth lunch counter, which was segregated, and sat down. When they ordered coffee, the staff asked the Greensboro Four to leave. They refused and remained until the store closed. The next day, they came back with even more supporters. By the end of their stand off, the sit-in approach had started to spread across the South, raising awareness in some places and even desegregating public spaces in others.
Greensboro has continued to commemorate and celebrate the sit-ins and the Greensboro Four. Here are some historic photos of the city’s various events that have marked this important moment.