Wilmington is contemplating honoring the chief of the Greensboro sit-ins with a road title | Native information
Joseph McNeil, one of the Greensboro Four, speaks during breakfast on February 1 at NC A&T in 2018.
The Greensboro Four leave the Woolworth Store on the first day of the Greensboro sit-ins in 1960: David Richmond (from left), Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan) and Joseph McNeil.
Tribune news service
WILMINGTON – Greensboro sit-ins leader Joseph McNeil could get a street in his honor in his hometown of Wilmington.
The city council will consider a resolution to designate North Third Street in honor of retired Major General Joseph McNeil.
McNeil, a native of Wilmington and a graduate of Williston High School, was a senior organizer and member of the Greensboro Four, the four NC A&T students who sat at the segregated lunch counter in a Woolworth department store on February 1, 1960, and refused service When asked to leave, they did not give up their seats until the shop closed.
The next day, they returned with more than 20 students to take part in the sit-in, which received national coverage, boycotted businesses, and eventually led to some stores in the south serving all customers.
After college, McNeil served in the US Air Force from 1962 to 2000.
On September 3, the council will consider the resolution calling for the city-maintained northern section of Third Street between Market Street and Davis Street to be named in McNeil’s honor. However, the name of the street is not changed.
Instead, special signage will be put up along the road.
“General McNeil played an important role in the civil rights movement and we are so proud to call him a Wilmingtonian,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said in a statement. “Honoring him with a street name in our city center will remind people of the great sacrifice and contribution he has made.”