Woolworth employee, Geneva Tisdale was one of the first black people to eat at the lunch counter after it was integrated.
A native of South Carolina, she started working at Woolworth in 1951 and stayed until 1993, when the impending closing of the South Elm Street store forced her to retire. By then, Tisdale was the only employee left who was there on Feb. 1, 1960.
Tisdale was pregnant at the time of the sit-ins, and as events progressed, her boss sent her home, away from the tense atmosphere. She returned to work before the sit-ins ended, and on July 25, 1960, the lunch counter manager chose Tisdale and three other kitchen workers to be the first black people to eat a sit-down meal there.
Tisdale has said she came to admire and sympathize with the four A&T students. Still, she said, store manager Curly Harris always treated her fairly, and she enjoyed her years with Woolworth.
What happened the first day(2:34)
It was tense and it scared me (1:04)
Sit-ins caused Woolworth to close (:53)
Geneve is the first to eat in the integrated Woolworth (2:58)
"I was proud" to be the first (1:27)
Tisdale's dream goes unfulfilled (2:06)