Greensboro Sit-ins - Launch of a Civil Rights Movement

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Interviews by Jim Schlosser:

Curly Harris
Audio
Curly Harris talks about how he took signs down and how he could have worked with the sit-in participants (1:43)
Harris recounts what happened on Feb. 1, 1960 (3:30)
Harris foreshadows the magnitude of the sit-ins (:40)
Harris decides to integrate (3:22)
Harris says he regrets not integrating (1:27)
Jo Spivey remembers Curly Harris and the significance of sit-ins (1:10)
Jack Moebes tangles with Curly Harris to get photos of sit-ins (1:50)
Curly Harris calls a staff meeting the next day from 1/20/84 interview (2:05)
(from interview with Charles O. Bess)
The mayor's reaction to sit-ins and Harris' refusal to integrate from an interview on 11/17/78 (:50)
(from interview with George Roach)
The mayor urges Curly Harris to do something from an interview on 11/17/78
(:50)
(from interview with George Roach)



George Simkins
George Simkins tells how he learned of the sit-ins (1:33)
Simkins helps the sit-ins spread through the state (:45)
Simkins talks about Ralph Johns role (1:10)
Simkins talks about the mood of Greensboro (1:39)
Simkins' account of the sit-ins Feb 1 (1:08)



Jo Spivey
Jo Spivey talks about how the sit-ins came about (:40)
Spivey remembers Curly Harris and the significance of sit-ins (1:10)
Spivey's daughter is threatened by the KKK (1:10)



Jack Moebes
What happened on Feb. 1 (1:40)
The once forgotten, but now famous photo (:53)
Moebes tangles with Curly Harris to get photos of sit-ins (1:50)
How Moebes got "the photo" (:51)



Ima Edwards
What Ima Edwards saw on Feb. 1 (:41)
What Edwards thought on Feb. 1 (1:24)
The KKK enters Woolworth (1:17)



Geneva Tisdale
What happened the first day (2:34)
It was tense and it scared me (1:04)
Sit-ins cause Woolworth to close (:53)
Geneva is first to eat in the integrated Woolworth (2:58)
"I was proud" to be the first (1:50)
Tisdale's dream goes unfulfilled (2:06)



Franklin Eugene McCain
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)



Joseph Alfred McNeil
Bennett College's idea? (:33)
Ralph Johns' involvement (:48)
It was a downpayment for manhood (:55)
Why Woolworth? (1:14)
Suprised at national recogntion so soon (:35)
A&T Chancellor Gibbs' reaction (1:27)
Violence breaks out at the sit-ins (1:32)
The community and broad leadership made it possible (2:34)
Why the movement was so interesting; it went against tradition (:38)
Why the sit-ins stayed non-violent (:55)
When McNeil realized it made an impact (1:11)
"It's been a good life" (1:56)



Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr.)
Something must be done (1:03)
Blair voted against going (1:07)
Ralph Johns role in the sit-ins (1:17)
Couldn't sleep the night before the sit-ins (:36)
What happened that day (2:12)
Curly Harris refuses the four service (:50)
We got confidence (:38)
The four were threatened nightly (:34)



Dr. James Farmer
An overview of just what the sit-ins meant (4:10)



Interviews by the Greensboro Public Library:
Warmoth Gibbs
Why the sit-ins were significant to A&T (1:04)
How Gibbs handled the sit-ins (2:16)
Gibbs says police handled sit-ins well (:28)
Earlier A&T racial movements (1:04)
Greensboro businessmen helped in the movement (1:30)



Charles O. Bess
Bess' account of Feb. 1, 1960 in interview on 1/20/84 (1:00)
Bess was surprised when he saw the four sitting at the counter from 1/20/84 interview (1:42)
Curly Harris calls a staff meeting the next day from 1/20/84 interview (2:05)



Willa B. Player
Player first learns of Bennett student involvement in the sit-ins from interview on 12/3/79 (1:16)
Player holds faculty meeting to decide if Bennett students can participate from interview on 12/3/79 (:37)
Adminstration tells students that they support sit-ins from interview on 12/3/79 (:28)
Player defends sit-ins at meeting of city college administrations from interview on 12/3/79 (1:55)



George Roach
The mayor's reaction to sit-ins and Harris' refusal to integrate from an interview on 11/17/78 (:50)
The mayor urges Curly Harris to do something from an interview on 11/17/78 (1:24)
"That was the beginning of the end for downtown" from 11/17/78 interview (:41)
Bomb scare unites city and newspaper to appeal to Woolworth president from 11/17/78 interview (2:55)
Mayor tells students that time will tell in the sit-ins (1:11)



Cecil Bishop
Sit-ins spur civil rights activity through the year (:35)
Bishop's relationship with student groups (:56)
Church leaders were strong in the movement (:39)
Leadership cut across all areas of the community (1:41)



John Hatchett
Hatchett claims Bennett College deserves some credit (3:51)
Hatchett claims Bennett and A&T students planned together (0:26)
Bennett students kept quiet at the time (1:09)

If you would like to make a monetary contribution to the The International Civil Rights Center & Museum, promoting the cause of civil rights championed by the A&T Four and countless others, visit their website.
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