An Open Letter: Remembering the Greensboro Four

Vanessa Kopp, the Co-Vice President of Academic Programming for Penn’s Black Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (BGAPSA), wrote an open letter to the Greensboro Four.


Ezell Blair Jr. David Richmond. Franklin McCain. Joseph McNeil.

On February 1, 1960, four young men walked purposefully in the crisp, Carolina air, sharing an uneasy silence. They were making history though they hardly knew it at the time. Between their North Carolina A&T dorm rooms and Woolworth’s Drug Store in Downtown Greensboro, these four students walked in their truth and belief in racial equality, inspired by non-violent leaders both past and present.

Upon arrival, the four men sat at the lunch counter as every other white patron had done before them. The sign placed overtly at their seats made clear: Whites Only. This familiar, if not symbolic, sign of segregation defined the South in its post-Confederate glory.

They waited to be served.

Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair Jr). David Richmond. Franklin McCain. Joseph McNeil.

As a North Carolina native, I am familiar with the way the air greets you on…

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