N.C. A&T to Celebrate 60th Anniversary of Sit-In; Roland S. Martin to Keynote

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EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 9, 2020) – In celebration of the courageous and brave acts of Jibreel Khazan (formally Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and David Richmond – known collectively as the A&T Four – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Feb. 1, 1960 Sit-In Commemorative Program, beginning at 7 a.m., Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, with special guest speaker, Roland S. Martin.

Six decades ago, those four N.C. A&T freshmen, sat down at a “White’s Only” lunch counter at Woolworth’s Department Store, in peaceful demonstration and request of equal service. Their act of unity sparked the sit-in movement across the country, further amplifying the voice of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Accordingly, Martin has devoted a significant portion of his career focusing on issues impacting the African American community, most notably political advocacy.

Martin is currently the host and managing editor of #RolandMartinUnfiltered, the first daily online show in history focused on news and analysis of politics, entertainment, sports, and culture from an explicitly African American perspective.

Having been named as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States four times by Ebony Magazine, he has been showered with more than 30 awards for journalistic excellence, including Journalist of the Year in 2013 by the National Association of Black Journalists for his extensive focus on voter suppression and other issues of concern to African Americans during the 2012 election.

Martin spent six years as a contributor for CNN, appearing on numerous shows and earning accolades for his no-holds barred honesty, conviction and perspective on various issues. He spent 13 years at TV One, where he played an integral role in building the Black-owned network.

He has penned several books including, “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith,” “Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America,” and “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin,” and contributed to many others.

The February One Sit-In program includes (all events are on the A&T campus):

  • Breakfast: 7 a.m., Alumni-Foundation Event Center
    • Program, featuring Roland S. Martin, 8 a.m.
  • Laying of the A&T Four Memorial Wreath, 10 a.m., February One Monument
  • Panel Discussion, 10:30 a.m., Harrison Auditorium

Free tickets are required to attend the commemorative breakfast and program. Distribution will begin at 9 a.m., Monday, Jan. 13, at the University Ticket Office in Brown Hall. Call 336-334-7749 for information regarding hours.

Media members who intend to cover this event will need to fill out the credentials request by 5 p.m., Jan. 24 via the university website.

About North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is the nation’s largest historically black university, ranked number one among public HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report. It is a land-grant, doctoral high-research classified university by the Carnegie Foundation and constituent member of the University of North Carolina system. A&T is known for its leadership in producing graduates in engineering, agriculture and other STEM fields. The university was founded in 1891 and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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