GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The act of justice committed by civil rights activist and acclaimed "Greensboro Four" hero Franklin McCain affected the world, though it began as an idea close to home--at North Carolina A&T.
[READ: Franklin McCain, Of The Greensboro Four, Dies]
By sitting at a once-"whites only" lunch counter at the Woolworth's store in Greensboro, McCain, Joseph McNeil, Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair, Jr.) and David Richmond sought to break down racial barriers and further pave a pathway to equality.
At the age of 73, McCain passed away Thursday. Upon learning Friday of McCain's passing, North Carolina A&T (NC A&T) students remembered and honored the man whom they say taught them infinite wisdom--a man whose legacy they vow to carry on.
From their freshman year through the remainder of their education at NC A&T, students take courses about the Greensboro Four's pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Students are encouraged to participate in events--including the annual February One celebration, which they say Franklin McCain always attended.
A&T junior Deandrea Newsome said, "Here at North Carolina A&T, even as a freshman, I would say you learn their legacy, even if you didn't know about the Greensboro Four before coming here. And one of the biggest things that they highlighted to us is that they did it as freshmen. So that exudes an amount of courage that you have, you know, participating in civil rights. So it's big shoes to follow, and I'm in awe of their courage, and we really do look at their legacy, and we admire their legacy that they left here at A&T."
A&T senior Domonique Luchion affirmed, "They did a lot for the university. They put us on the map, I think. When coming here, it's what you hear about--the Greensboro Four. You can't go four years without knowing about any of them."
Of the Greensboro Four's heroic "sit in" on Feb. 1, 1960, NC A&T senior Natalia Bygrave said, "It means a lot. You can't say it enough. They're civil rights activists, and the fact that they come from our school, it brings so much pride to A&T. I feel like when you say Aggie Pride, that's what you think of--the Greensboro four. They started the great legacy of people to come here."
A&T senior Nadia Ogufowora agreed, saying, "Look what it did nationally. It started a domino effect for everything that came after. So I guess it shows no matter how small you are or how insignificant you may feel you think you are or whatever you think you're doing, you can do bigger than that--whatever you thought that was."
In a statement, NC A&T administrators said the school is in the process of planning a memorial ceremony for McCain. NC A&T said it will release further details, once that information is solidified.
Tune into WFMY News 2 at 5, 5:50, 6 and 11 p.m. for continued team coverage honoring the life and legacy of Franklin McCain.
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