Beginning in 1958 . . . local NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] chapters organized sit-ins, where African Americans, many of whom were college students, took seats and demanded service at segregated all-white lunch counters. It was, however, the sit-in demonstrations at Wool-worth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina, beginning on February 1, 1960, that caught national attention and sparked other sit-ins and demonstrations in the South. One of the four students in the first Greensboro sit-in, Joe McNeil, later recounted his experience: " . . . we sat at a lunch counter where blacks never sat before. And people started to look at us. The help, many of whom were black, looked at us in disbelief too. They were concerned about our safety. We asked for service, and we were denied, and we expected to be denied. We asked why we couldn't be served, and obviously, we weren't given a reasonable answer, and it was our intent to sit there until they decided to serve us. "
Source: www. congresslink. org and Henry Hampton and Steve Fayer (eds. ) Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1980s. Vintage Paperback, 1995.
The author uses Joe McNeil's account to give a firsthand description of what it was like to be a part of a significant event in the civil rights movement