Many of us are aware of the famous sit-in at the FW Woolworth’s in Greensboro, NC. It rocked the world. Not so many were aware of the Friendship Nine who staged a similar protest at the McCrory’s lunch counter in my mother’s hometown of Rock Hill, SC.
Now considered a suburb of Charlotte, Rock Hill is about 25 miles south. I’ve been going there all my life but never ventured much farther than my grandparents’ College St neighborhood near Glencairn Gardens.
But back to Greensboro, where on February 1, 1960 four African-American men insisted on being served at the “whites only” lunch counter. Given that the law at the time was “separate but equal” and that a reasonable person could argue that there was not an equal facility for so called colored. Of course, for a reasonable person to argue that, you’d have to have some reasonable people in charge willing to listen. So…
Fast forward just shy of 2 weeks and a group of college students from a small college in Rock Hill tried the same thing, but upped the ante by refusing bail and release. “Jail, No Bail” became the go to strategy for arrested protestors.
Of course, Rock Hill is still my mother’s hometown, so it’s always good to see that they are keeping up some of their old historic buildings and not forgetting the lessons of the past.