Youth with Belief Wield Power to Change Society

October 25, 2010

On February 1, 1960, four college students staged one of the most successful events of the civil rights movement. The four sat down at a Woolworth “whites only” lunch counter in Greensboro, NC and reinvigorated the non-violent protest movement. The silent efforts of those four young people soon expanded to 1,000 and, within two months, similar sit-ins had taken place in 54 cities and 9 states around the United States.

Fifty years later, one of those students is sharing his story at Xavier. Dr. Franklin McCain will appear at Xavier on Wednesday November 10 at 7 pm in room 412 of Xavier’s Conaton Learning Commons at the corner of Dana and Ledgewood. The event is free and open to the public.

In a 2008 NPR interview, McCain recalled that an older white woman sat at the lunch counter a few stools down from the four. McCain was leery of her motivations. When she finished her meal, she walked behind the men. "She said in a very calm voice, 'Boys, I am so proud of you. I only regret that you didn't do this 10 years ago.'" McCain recalls. From this, McCain said he learned never stereotype anybody until you at least talk to them. “I'm even more cognizant of that today in situations like that and I'm always open to people who speak differently, who look differently, and who come from different places," he said.

Never underestimate the power of young people who believe. Come touch history. Come be inspired.