PortfolioAssemblage – Blue Plate Special 1960: Lunch Counter Hospitality, Greensboro, NC (2013)

This installation with painted greenware, flatware, acrylic paint and paper was created for the 2013 YWCA invitational “50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement.”
When a black man asks for a cup of coffee at a five-and-dime “whites-only” lunch counter, the tradition of southern hospitality turned ugly. The Greensboro sit-ins of 1960 were a series of non-violent actions that began on February 1 with four black students who sat down at 4:30 pm, asked for coffee, were denied service, and then stayed until closing time. News media and more demonstrators became interested and in three days, 4, 300+ people came to protest. The Kress store’s lunch counter was added, initiating a spread of lunch counter protests throughout North Carolina. Media and government paid increasing attention as the movement expanded to include sit-ins at other segregated public facilities. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 eventually mandated desegregation of all public accommodations.

  • (15” x 18” x 1”)