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Greensboro Four Day set for Jan. 23

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.-- Northeastern State University, during a week honoring people who spearheaded equality and reform, will recognize the Greensboro Four who transformed the civil rights movement.

Greensboro Four Day will be observed on Wednesday, Jan. 23, with a screening of the documentary February One at 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

Barbara Fuller, instructor of Educational Foundation Leadership and chair of the American Democracy Project at NSU, is organizer of the screening.

'One of the reasons I chair the Democracy Project is I worry that students don't believe they have a voice," Fuller said. "Really, college is a time and place to be civically engaged."

February One tells the story of four students from the Agricultural and Technical College of North Carolina who took seats at a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 1, 1960, to protest segregation policies.

The four students – David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain and Ezell Blair Jr. (who later changed his name to Jibreel Khazan) – were joined by other African American students in the succeeding days. The sit-in tactic spread elsewhere as a method of nonviolent protest and attracted national media attention, drawing support from President Eisenhower.

"At the time, these students didn't think it would be a very big deal because – like many college students today – they didn't think they could change anything," Fuller said. "But by making a stand they changed the civil right movement."

Fuller said she includes "February 1" in her class curriculum.

"Hopefully the students of today can identify with these students of the past and see that they can 'Be the Change,'" she said. "There is every reason for our students to be active and participate in our communities."

Greensboro Four Day is presented by the Division of Student Affairs and the American Democracy Project.

Published: 1/22/2013 9:11:02 AM

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