Lucky Citizen Designs Monument to Greensboro 4

GREENSBORO – Charles Jenkins had waited patiently for more than two years for this moment.

In 2007, he had accepted a challenge unlike any other of his life: Craft a sculpture to honor Greensboro’s place in civil rights history.

Jenkins didn’t consider himself an artist, and certainly not a sculptor. He’s a security officer who enjoys sketching — but just for fun.

Never did he expect to be chosen among the artists whose designs would become bronze sculptures of artistically shaped coffee cups to be displayed in the city.

Nor did Jenkins fathom back then where his cup would find a home.

On Monday, he watched workers install it on a granite pedestal outside the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, which will open Feb. 1, at 301 S. Elm St.

Just steps away, the civil rights movement got a boost on Feb. 1, 1960, at what was then the F.W. Woolworth store’s lunch counter, when four young men politely requested a cup of coffee.

In Jenkins’ sculpture, the cup rim became the lunch counter. Seated there are figures of the four N.C. A&T freshmen who launched the sit-ins that day.

“It is good to do something for those four guys,” Jenkins said about the sit-in participants – Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, David Richmond and Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.).NCAT logo 2

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