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Student-run organization holds “flash mob” to support International Civil Rights Museum

Published: Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Updated: Monday, January 18, 2010

Ignite Greensboro held its first flash mob at the UNCG Thursday. Ignite Greensboro is an organization entirely operated by students dedicated to the effort of raising awareness of civil rights history in Greensboro. Other flash mob events have been held at other colleges in Greensboro, the first of which was held this past March.

A flash mob consists of people freezing in place concentrating on a particular subject. Thursday, participating students were reading books, appearing to be studying in teams implying a theme of academic excellence. The flash mob’s purpose was to raise awareness of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum are the main promoters of the courageous actions of: Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil and Franklin McNeil. Thursday a volunteer explained, “Not a lot of people know about the Greensboro four. Our purpose here today isn’t to raise money or anything like that. We want to raise awareness.”

But who are the Greensboro four? The year is 1960 and racial tensions are all too relevant. Four freshmen from North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College who courageously walked into the F.W. Woolworth store, fully aware of racial segregation and sat at the lunch counter. The counter was known to be “whites only” and consequently the gentlemen were refused service. A little more than a month later, President Kennedy issued an executive order preventing the racial discrimination regarding government employment. The burden of racial discrimination suffered by these men sparked a flame for protests against racial discrimination that spread like wildfire throughout the country.

To commemorate their historical stand, Ignite Greensboro is holding an exhibition Thursday, October 9th at the RAWKon the UNCG campus.

Instead of a flash mob they will be requesting two dollar donations to raise funds for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The two dollars itself is extremely significant. Two dollars represents approximately what an individual would spend on their daily cup of coffee. The simple service that was refused of Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Joseph McNeil and Franklin McNeil almost fifty years ago. The fund raising effort takes a backseat to their real mission. Upon receiving enough monetary funds their plan is educate students on Greensboro’s rich civil rights history. Anyone who holds an interest in Ignite Greensboro or their cause may contact them at [email protected] for more information on getting involved.

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