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Greensboro Sit-ins - Launch of a Civil Rights Movement

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Key Players

Franklin Eugene McCain

One of the original four who took part in the Woolworth sit-ins. He was born in Union County, and reared in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Eastern High School in Washington. He received a B.S. degree in chemistry and biology from North Carolina A&T State University in 1964. While he was an A&T student, he roomed with David Richmond -- another of the original sit-in participants -- and around the corner from Ezell Blair Jr. and Joseph McNeil on the second floor of Scott Hall.

He joined the Celanese Corporation in Charlotte in 1965 as a chemist and now heads the company's office in Shelby, while continuing to live in Charlotte. He is married to the former Bettye Davis. They have three sons.

Audio (MP3)

Bennett's involvement in the sit-ins (2:54)
Whose idea was it? (1:17)
Ralph Johns' involvement (:57)
Why we did it (2:07)
It was done on a dare (1:00)
The incident that sparked the sit-ins (:57)
McCain always defied the system (1:04)
No reason to wearing the uniform (1:11)
We had no offer of help (:56)
What is going to happen? (1:14)
Why Woolworth? (1:10)
What happened that first day (3:42)
The four are denied service (1:37)
The police arrive and Woolworth closes (2:05)
Day 1: "I have never felt so confident in all my life" (2:03)
The four try to rally support; few believe them (2:01)
Day 2: Heckling begins (3:44)
The word spreads (1:48)
Sit-ins started as something personal (:55)
What made Greensboro sit-ins different (1:04)
We accomplished something, but it became a burden (2:16)

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