A bit of small, chipped tile can tell a big story.
While tearing out the walls and old fixtures of our new space in Raleigh, workers found some old bits of tile under all the mess. Turns out, according to the folks at Cameron Village/York Properties, that the space used to be a Woolworth’s, and this is likely remnants from the old lunch counter.
We were also pointed to this article from the News & Observer earlier this year, detailing the lunch counter sit-ins of 1960. The very first sit-in was in a nearby Woolworth’s in Greensboro on February 1, when four black college students sat down at the “whites-only” lunch counter to request service, and didn’t leave until the store closed. The movement grew, and by February 10, the sit-ins started in Raleigh. On February 12, police arrested 41 students at Cameron Village for “trespassing.” The movement spread throughout the country, and on July 26, all Woolworth’s lunch counters were desegregated. Check out photos here.
If we can, we’ll preserve this reminder of the past. It may be a tiny spot on a vast wall, but it represents the start of a big change.