February One Monument
The February One monument is located in front of the James B. Dudley Memorial Building on North Carolina A&T State University’s campus. This monument was erected in the honor of four freshmen of the university who staged a sit-in of a Woolworth Department Store on February 1, 1960 protesting racial segregation policies. These four freshmen were: David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr., and Joseph McNeil. The four men are referred to as the “Greensboro Four.”
Backstory and Context
The Greensboro Four’s actions were significant because they sparked action across the country against other segregated establishments. This sit-in marked a very important beginning for the Civil Rights Movement by influencing other young people and college students to join together in their cities all over the United States for the cause of desegregation.
The creation of the monument itself was inspired by a photograph taken of the four men leaving the sit-in at Woolworth Department Store in downtown Greensboro. The monument was created by an artist named James Barnhill. It was commissioned by James C. Renick, the chancellor of North Carolina A&T State in 2001. The bronze statue is over 15 feet tall, and took James Barnhill over a year to create.
The dedication of the monument took place on February 1, 2002. The monument was unveiled as part of the 42nd anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-Ins. The ceremony was attended by all of the members of the Greensboro Four, except for David Richmond, who died in 1990.