Franklin Eugene McCain
Franklin McCain, one of the Greensboro Four, was born in Kannapolis and raised in Washington. He graduated from Washington’s Eastern High School in 1959. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology from N.C. A&T in 1964.
While studying at A&T, McCain roomed with David Richmond, another of the original sit-in participants. Their room was around the corner from Ezell Blair Jr. and Joseph McNeil on the second floor of Scott Hall.
McCain joined Hoechst-Celanese Corp. in Charlotte in 1965 as a chemist, going on to become a section leader in its home furnishings fibers division.
Some of his civic activities in Charlotte include serving as co-chairman of Fighting Back, an anti-drug program; a member of a county budget committee and a city government efficiency committee; former issues committee chairman for the Black Political Caucus; chairman of the state committee of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; and a member of a committee on resources for magnet schools.
In 1993, he received the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for leadership and was appointed to A&T’s board of trustees in 2005. He is now chairman of the board of trustees.
McCain is married to the former Bettye Davis, a Bennett College alumna and former principal of Long Creek Elementary School in Charlotte. They have three sons, Franklin Jr., Wendell and Bertrand.
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)