Monday, July 26, 2010

A Civil Rights Trailblazer

Franklin McCain
Franklin McCain is one of the original four who took part in the Woolworth sit-ins.

He was born in Union County, and reared in Washington, D.C. During his junior year in High School, his family moved to Greensboro and he attended Dudley High School. However, his family moved back to DC and he graduated from Eastern High School in Washington.

He received a B.S. degree in chemistry and biology from North Carolina A&T State University in 1964.

David Richmond
While he was an A&T student, he roomed with David Richmond --another of the original sit-in participants -- and around the corner from Ezell Blair Jr. and Joseph McNeil on the second floor of Scott Hall. McCain grew up deeply influenced by Jesus Christ and his grandmother.

The Greensboro Four
Franklin talked to us many times about how his grandparents and parents would tell him "The Big Lie." "The Big Lie" went something like this… if he behaved in a respectful and modest way, and kept up his grades, that all opportunities would be open to him. As he grew older, he realized that the color of his skin, kept a lot of opportunities from him, even one as simple as sitting down with other folks at a lunch counter. The way the world was structured made him very angry and he knew that if he didn't do something about it, he would not be able to live with himself.After he graduated from A&T in 1963, he stayed in Greensboro, and went to Grad School. In 1964 he married the former Bettie Davis. They have three sons. In 1965 he joined the Celanese Corporation in Charlotte as a chemist and is now retired. As a resident of Charlotte, Franklin has been on many boards and has worked to bring about some changes in the educational, civic, spiritual and political life of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.

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