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Franklin Eugene McCain

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: African-American

Biographical/Historical note:

Franklin Eugene McCain was born in Union County, North Carolina, in 1942, and raised in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Eastern High School in 1959 and attended North Carolina A&T State University. McCain and three other A&T freshmen, now known as the “Greensboro Four,” are credited with initiating the sit-in movement when they sat down at the F. W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro on February 1, 1960 and requested service. McCain also participated in the negotiations between the student protestors, Woolworth’s management, and the Human Relations Commission.

In 1964, McCain graduated from A&T with a degree in chemistry and biology. The following year he married Bettye Davis, a Bennett College alumna and fellow participant in the Greensboro civil rights demonstrations. He also began work for the Celanese Corporation in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he worked for almost 35 years.

McCain remained involved in numerous civic activities and community organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which he served as chair of the North Carolina regional committee. He has also served on the boards of both Bennett College and North Carolina Central University. McCain received an honorary doctorate from North Carolina A&T State University in 1994 for his contribution to the civil rights movement.

McCain died in Greensboro on January 9, 2014.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jibreel Khazan and Franklin McCain by Eugene Pfaff
Date: October 20, 1979
By: Franklin Eugene McCain
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of an October 20, 1979, interview conducted by Eugene Pfaff with Jibreel Khazan and Franklin McCain primarily discuss the motivations, planning, strategies, participants, and act...

Item thumbnail image Do the right thing
Date: August 26, 1990
By: Franklin Eugene McCain
From: Clarence Lee Harris Papers

This article by Franklin McCain, one of the four original participants in the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins, appeared in the August 26, 1990, Greensboro News & Record, ...