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I'm doing a long term project on the Greensboro Four's stroy for my eighth grade history class. I feel this movement was an extremely important part of our nation's history. My history teacher last year, in my seventh grade class, showed this movie to us. It really opened my eyes to what life was like in the 60's. I used this video as one of my resources. It is definetly the most helpful one of all, considering the actual Greensboro sit-ins were interviewed in this movie. This video really opened my eyes!
I THINK THAT THIS STORY IS VERY INTERSTING TO READ ABOUT BECAUSE IT TALKED ABOUT HOW THEY FOUGHT FOR CIVIL FREEDOM WITH NONVIOLENCE TO SEEK ORDER OF JUSTICE.
"THE ABILITY OF BLACKS AND WHITES TO COMMINGLE WITH ONE ANOTHER AND ESTABLISH FRIENDSHIP IS PROBALY THE MOST BASIC FREEDOM"
AND DELINEATIONS BETWEEN WHITE AND BLACK, DEFINED YOUR EXISTENCE AND DIDNT SHOW PURPOSE BECAUSE WHITE AND BLACK MONEY IS THE SAME, THEIR ISNT DEINEATIONS FOR MONEY.....SO BEING CIVIL WITH ONE ANOTHER WAS THE BEST WAY OUT
Febuary one was one of the most of enlighting movies I had ever watched in regards to the civil rights movment. The four young college men invovled took on an entire nation to fight for the freedoms the all Americans enjoy today. The incrediable amount of coverage demonstrated by these men was a true eye opener for all Americans. Blacks within America came togehter with a common bond of equality and freedom that was second to none. The film allowed me to gain a true sense of how unfair blacks were treated prior to civil rights.
I work in a suburban Chicago parochial school in our Learning Resource Center. As a Black History Awareness Lesson, my fifth grade students read (Reader's Theater Style) three plays on Civil Rights. One was about the Greensboro four. I taped the Independent Lens program, February One, and my students viewed it after they read the play. They were riveted to the television and could not believe how human beings were treated and shocked to find out, some still are. The play came to life for them, some shouting, I was Joseph McNeil in the play! I want to thank everyone involved in the making of this amazing video.
Big Lake, MN
I absoulutly LOVE history like this. I would like to learn more about the Greensboro Four and Martin Luther King Jr.
When I first read this article about the Greensboro Four, I did not understand what a "sit-in" was. After I read it I kinda got a picture in my mind but not really. I think that insted of "sit-in" you should write "lunch counter" or something of that matter. Any way I loved this website and would like to learn more about it. Thanks a bunch!
James H Pobst
Iowa City, Iowa
Hi, this is just a quick note of appreciation for your airing of February One: The Greensboro Four story. Most Americans, I think, have heard about the famous "lunch counter" event as part of the larger civil rights event, but not many including myself knew anything about the details of the event, especially what exactly happened between the four young men and the local white and black publics. I am amazed that the Four had the courage to sit at that counter day after day requesting service despite the verbal and physical abuse of whites. I am also amazed (and ashamed) that it took a half year for Woolworth's to finally back down and intergrate the lunch counter. I also feel bad for the one member of the Four who had died (David Nichols, I think) as an indirect result of the neglect (refusals to hire him, etc.) he had been given by Greensboro locals years after the original incident.
Anyway, I'm rambling on about certain details of the program which you're already aware of! Overall, this was an excellent documentary on this particular event in the civil rights movement, with a great focus on the day-to-day happenings, interviews with the original participants, and use of available footage. Thanks so much again for airing it!
Charles Robson Jr.
Bronx, New York
While Reading the article February One from The New york Times on the train tuesday morning, than observing it on PBS that night,I immediately felt a deeper sense of empathy and respect for our hero brothers, Franklin, Joe, JiBreel and David. As Franklin said, no one asked him about his civil right activities. I know I did not, and I was there. Now we know. There comes a time when enough is enough.
The movement was so tense, happen so fast, people were young, thoughts of the here and now, the pass and the future were light years beyond thought. Not for these four.
God sent all four of those giants to a higher calling. Who else could assembly four people from diffrent locations together, with simular experiences,views,cognitive skills and bravey to mastermine a course of action and start a protest to mandate a group of humans be given what is rightful theirs.The right to eat food anywhere.
Robert Brodkins Gore in a book he, my farther and others contributed articles to," The Angry Black South", copyright 1962, written as a result of the student movement, stamped a quote in print above the beginning of his article. "There is no power like the power of an idea whose time has come".__ Thomas Paine.
Now we all know ,the maginatude of visualization, conceptualization and imigination our college brothers were ahead of us. Where,when, will the next four come to challenge the discrinating fiscal disparity plunging our children and possible the next generation into a state of discontinuance..
Thank you independent news for this program, it gave us more insight on the four brothers and their thinking, I and other were not aware of.
A. and T. 1957-1961
Wilmington, NC, USA
Thank you David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, and Ezell Blair, Jr.
You are among my heroes. I can only hope to one day achieve one-thousandth as much as any one of you achieved on February 1, 1960. You were then, and remain, among the greatest and bravest of men. Your places in history are insured for eternity. My debt to you can never be repaid.
Again, thank you.
Last night, I viewed the documentary on The Greensboro Four. As the debut program in honor of African American Heritage Month, it was most aptly dramatic and moving. As I watched, a flood of emotions engulfed me. I was filled with pride, inspired by the courage of those four young men and--over the course of the weeks folowing their initial act of defiance in response to the scourge of overt racist bias--those from the community who joined them in their groundbreaking effort.
I look forward to viewing the remainder of the programs produced in tribute to outstanding individuals of my race who stood against a tide of injustice in America at a time when the roots of the modern day civil rights struggle were taking hold.
Thank you for recognizing the importance of African American Heritage Month.
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK
I WELL REMEMBER THE COURAGEOUS ACTIONS OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTS IN THE SIT-INS IN THE SOUTH IN THE 1960'S. AS A MEMBER OF NEW YORK CORE, I JOINED WITH HUNDREDS OF SYMPATHETIC WHITES AND BLACKS IN PICKETING WOOLWORTHS ON 125TH STREET IN HARLEM URGING PEOPLE TO BOYCOTT THE STORE UNTIL THE COMPANY WAS WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE JUST DEMANDS OF THE PROTESTERS. THE PICKETING CONTINUED THROUGHOUT THE WINTER MONTHS. I WELL REMEMBER DONNING MY WINTER UNDERWEAR, TWO PAIRS OF SOCKS, EAR MUFFS, ET AL TO WARD OFF THE ICY COLD WINTER TEMPERATURE. IN SPITE OF THE WEATHER, AS I REFLECT UPON THAT HISTORICAL PERIOD, I HAVE NO REGRETS THAT I WAS ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN FURTHERING A JUST CAUSE.
Let us not forget the horries that our forefather indured inorder for us to be able to enjoy the simple things of life. Do not take it for granted that we are equal, it's proven each and every day with the financial institions, colleges and our neighborhoods. So please tell some young person who do not know the struggle that took place in the South during this era. I always believe that justic comes in the end but from a higher power.
Thank you for this amazing film. It should be broadcast every 4th of July, and distributed around the world, so people in other countries can see a real story of fighting for liberty. I have so much admiration and gratitude for the bravery and moral strength of these young men. At a time when "ordinary" Americans are said to be unable to have much impact on what happens in our lives, it's exciting to see that people CAN make a difference.
There are at least 2 more films I would like to see:
* More about the lives of these 4 heros - their families, school and college years, their later work and career experiences - photos & footage of them at family gatherings, as grooms, new fathers, grandfathers, award winners. How their continuing friendship has affected their lives. I'd like to hear what's been hard & what's been wonderful - their failures, triumphs and satisfactions. If they were 18 today in 2005, what would they want to fight for?
* A film about the ripples - the other participants in the sit-ins. How has life progressed for the other students, both black & white who showed up to participate? And for opponents, the store personnel and the general public? How have the outlooks & actions of Greensboro's business and civic leaders developed?
Nowadays, the connections between our lives and the founders of American democracy aren't clear. This story lets us see the nation's ideals in action, here where we live, and now, in our own time.
Once again, thank you.
This story shows the battles fought to achieve racial equillibrium. Although the finish line is still ahead, it took martyrs and soldiers to lay the groundwork. For this they shall receive eternal peace. Never forget the struggle. Act through knowledge and not actions. Peace and Love to everyone of you.
This is simply to extend my deepest thanx for allowing us to share this tremendous victory for our common humanity, our common dignity. These fine young men, who, in their own words say they didn't set out "to save the world," have helped us learn a way to save this nation's soul.
It is thru bitterness and tears I realize I am from that sort of background, where those sorts of hateful words were uttered on a regular basis. By the way, I'm not a white person from the south, but the south side of Chicago. We never needed any lessons form people in white sheets to show us how to hate.
But to these fine young men, mu depest thanks. They had no idea what a fire they lit in the midst of so much darkness. We're continuing our progress still, out of the nightmare of our own self-absorption. Those who don't think so need to go see a cureent film "Hotel Rwanda," which chronicles how the world slept thru the slaughter of nearly a million Africans, none of whom, to their great misfortune? do NOT live any where near an oil well. Go figure, eh?
I truly thought that this doc was wonderful and should be shown in every classroom, boardroom, and dormroom in america. This needs to be shown at least once a month to remind everybody blacks and whites of what people scarficed for the GREATER good! Thank you, thank you...thank you.
New York, NY
Thanks so much for presenting this special. I was so moved that I instantly decided to write this feedback.
I have lived the experience of discrimination from the my earliest experienced of being bussed to an all white school at 8 years old, to my current life in Corporate America.
While most of my childhood discrinating experiences have been traumatizing, its the ones I have recently experienced that remind us that many have paved the way for the priveledges minorities live and breathe today.
Strangely enough, my most significant experience was in 1999 when I was approached by a coporate manager during a new job assignment and asked, "would you take offense to the term, HOUSE NIGGER?" He then went on to explain how I would have to expect this in accepting the management position at this particular NYC Investment Bank.
While I had to deal with this through legal means and the company tried to do damage control by approaching the minority employees with town meetings and promises, 5 years later there is NO significant difference.
Hopefully, one day there can be programs that address the current plight of discrimination. The impression that many young people have today is that disrcimination was so long ago.
Their use of the word "nigger", nigga" and all its variations seems to suggest that they do not understand the impact of what was once fought for and what many have died for.
Christie C. Lyles
I am a 3rd generation alumnus of A&T and educator in an inner-city public school of majority African-American students. Thank you for the opportunity to show my students the impact that character, courage, determination can make to change the world. This is an awesome educational tool! Keep up the life-changing work!
The power of one! An amazing and courageous documantary. Thank you for telling such an uplifting story. Thanks too for turning the camera on the triuphs of these men and their courage to mobilize the best in us!
Michele L. Burton
I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina from the 70's to the early 90's. My grandmother always told me stories about the sit-in. However, after watching last night's program, it seems she left out a lot of details. I never knew that the sit-in had that type of effect on the South. As to where other city's began to join in. I still go back to Greensboro to visit from family time to time. Now I have a better understanding and appreciation for the civil rights movement.
I grew up in Greensboro and was 13 at the time of the sit-ins. I remember it like it was yesterday. As a white youngster raised in a tolerant home I never realized that blacks were not served the same as whites until this moment. It shocked me to learn (and still does) that some people made suppositions about others based on race.
This incident propelled me to become active in the civil rights movement. When the marches and riots hit Greensboro a few years later I got my first taste of tear gas and billy clubs. I remained active until the Panthers and other groups told whites to 'butt out' of the movement.
I still see this, the alienation of liberal whites, as a turning point for the worse in the history of civil rights. The movement was more powerful before it became as segregated as the prejudice it sought to destroy.
I really enjoyed watching the film. It brought back so many memories. Although I did not live south, I still felt the pain they and others shared. Thank God for people like the Greensboro 4.
Patrick A. Reives
I do think that nonviolent direct action still works today. By taking a non aggressive stance, you can be taking more seriously.
Economics will eventually force everyone to take some sort of stance. We are in a time where there is no longer a middle class of people. Many people my age are confused, because we have been told all our lives that a good education and hard work equal the American Dream (not!).
I agree because our leaders have not stepped up. We all have to empower ourselves to take charge. As a father of two under the age of five. I want to create a legacy for my children. Frank McCain made a statement earlier in the documentation about suicide at 14 years of age. He did not take that action and went on to accomplish something great. I too want to say that my life has not been in vain. I want to volunteer with the NAACP, SCLC, Voter Registration and help young people understand that it is not all about the "bling".
I am the brother-in-law of David Richmond Jr. My sister, Kim Richmond is an educator with passion. We understand that is time to step and lead our children to the next stage.
Thank you for your time. If there is anyway that I can obtain a copy of the film, please advise.
Quintin M. Davis
Over the years people have expected blacks to resort to violance as a way to solve their problems as so many do nowadays; we sometimes forget that we can wear down our oppoanants in this instant society.
Non-violance was then as is now the most effective way to envoke change; you see, violance is what people expect nowadays with all the school shootings,drive by shotings,and unnatural violance going on. The media is still the best way to inform the people of injustice so that they can mobilize against blatant abuse and injustice. The proper leadership is the key to a successful movement. If a leader can not lead who can follow?
Nonviolence has proven an effective method for creating social change in some cultures, but for other people, as in China, it only brings more injustice. Television is still THE means to bring attention to matters of concern, with the internet stepping right behind. To be sure, leadership is the key to success or failure. Fidel Castro had a dream, but he lost it. The Cuban people have lived in tyranny ever since he did.