NAACP Statement on the Passing of Franklin McCain, One of the “Greensboro Four”

(Baltimore, MD) – The NAACP released the following statements following the death of Franklin McCain:


Roslyn Brock, Chairman of the NAACP Board of Directors:

“The NAACP mourns the loss of Franklin McCain. The heroism he displayed as a college student by sitting at a lunch counter where he was not welcomed helped to spark a movement that would change the course of American history,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP. “We are all the beneficiaries of his courage and social activism.”


Lorraine Miller, Interim NAACP President and CEO:

“Franklin McCain will forever be remembered as a civil rights pioneer who, along with his three classmates, dared to believe that equality should exist in every corner of our society, including lunch counters in the South. The incredible courage he displayed as a student will serve as a constant reminder to young people of every generation that their voices matter and that they have the power to correct injustice,” said Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. “While we underscore the heroism he and his classmates showed in the persistent face of racism in the 1960s, we also applaud Franklin McCain for being a pillar of strength at his Alma Mater, North Carolina A&T University, and a devout family man.  He leaves a record to be emulated.”    


Rev. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina State Conference for the NAACP:

“Like the Hebrew boys of the scriptures, Franklin McCain and his colleagues walked into the fire of hate, racism, and legalized segregation. They walked in and sat down, but the fire didn’t consume them,” said Rev. William Barber II, President of the North Carolina State Conference for the NAACP. “Instead they transformed the fire. They turned it into the light of freedom. They lit a fire in the hearts of other youth across the nation for justice and freedom. As a student at North Carolina A&T University, Franklin McCain became a shining example of manhood, hope, and dignity to many well beyond his years. The brilliance of Franklin McCain’s actions in the cause to challenge and defeat racism continues to light the way for the challenges we must still meet. Rest now in the Light of God.”


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.


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