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The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

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N.C. A&T hosts 63rd Sit-In Anniversary

N.C.+A%26T+hosts+63rd+Sit-In+Anniversary
Tonya Dixon

To some, February 1 is the day that brings in Black History Month. But to N.C. A&T, it holds a deeper meaning for the Aggies and Greensboro community.

63 years ago, four freshman students, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.), Joseph McNeil, the late Franklin McCain and the late David Richmond, took a stand against racism and silently protested at F.W. Woolworth.

Today’s celebration began with a breakfast program, followed by a panel of former SGA presidents and a social justice discussion was the only way to bring in the special day. Joseph A. McNeil was the only one of the A&T Four in attendance.

The event was centered around the idea of “Embracing Our Past, Engaging Our Present, Imagining Our Future”.

Former SGA President David Miller II talked from the standpoint of answering the call and keeping our eyes on the bigger picture which to him is student advocacy.

“We can’t change the past but we can impact the future,” Miller said. “This is not a sprint, it is a marathon. We can not get content. We have to keep our eyes on the bigger picture.”

Another former SGA President, Marcus Bass, talked about how the original sit-in protest was not about eating the food at Woolworth’s or not sitting next to people of color, but about being treated equally.

“It was about the opportunity, it was about the ability to live and exist freely in this country anywhere and any building, especially public venues,” Bass said.

SGA, SUAB, COP and the Royal Court were just a few of the student organizations that represented the student body of N.C. A&T. COP President Daniel Moore knows what this day means to this community because he was born and raised in the Triad area.

“Today’s event was really great. I love seeing how history is portrayed and how things have changed over time and seeing how people are really activists for social injustice,” Moore said.

When asked about what the A&T Four has done for himself, Moore talked about how much better of a leader they have paved the way for not only him but for all Aggies.

“I believe it taught me how to be a fearless leader, to stand up for what’s right and to stand up for what I believe in,” Moore said.

N.C. A&T’s Royal Court met James B. Dudley’s Royal Court, Mister Dudley Dorian Jackson and Miss Dudley YaAsia Brown. Both already recognize the leadership and responsibility they hold in the Greensboro area.

“Personally for me, growing up in the community and now being able to be a community leader, events like this really help you be able to engage with what exactly you are here for,” Brown said. “That’s the Black Excellence that I really appreciate.”

Additionally, with both of them growing up right next to Aggieland, A&T might have two future Aggies right across the street. Jackson has a visit with the N.C. A&T’s Honors College in the coming weeks and Brown confirmed that she will be attending N.C. A&T studying Biology.

Opportunities like the annual Sit-In anniversary are very special because important conversations are being held that don’t always get talked about on a day-to-day basis. According to Dr. Oliver Thomas, having people from all different walks of life makes the conversation richer.

“This room is sacred, there is no other place in the country, there is no other place in the world, where this many generations are coming together at an academic institution to examine and unpack social justice for 63 years,” Thomas said.

Phrases like “Keep going” and “Carry the torch” were repeated throughout the day, and as Aggies have done in the past and continue to do in 2023, Aggies Do.

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