Vigil recognizes local sit-in anniversary

Feb. 11, 2013 @ 07:01 PM

Standing in the spot where the Woolworth’s building used to be, 22 people held hands and gave thanks for a new era, without the hate and violence of the 1960’s.
The annual Prayer Vigil for the February 11th Association was held Monday at the High Point Plaza and Hotel. The vigil marks the 53rd anniversary of the nation’s first organized civil right’s sit-in by high school students in downtown High Point.
To 12 year old Christian Short, the vigil gives him a look back into time and shows him what those before him did to make his life easier.
“I came to learn about our history so that I can know when I’m older what happened and how we can make a difference in this community,” Short said.
Short called the students in the sit-in brave and courageous.
“The students were real brave and had enough courage to stand up,” Short said. “We should do that now.”
Short said that he doesn’t think he would have had the courage to protest.
“I probably would not have done it but I wish that I would have had enough courage to do it,” Short said.
Carlvena Foster, District 1 school board member, said that students today could learn from the 26 students who sat in at Woolworth’s.
“Leadership comes from our youth. They have to know what happened in the past in order to prepare themselves for the future,” Foster said. “An effort made by those 26 high school students made history in High Point and across the state. The future belongs to the youth and it would be good for them to know their past.”
The vigil included prayers for love, forgiveness, peace, diversity and inclusion, tolerance, truth and reconciliation, and justice from local pastors and ministers Amos Quick, Robert J. Williams, Roy Fitzgerald, Henrico White, Terry Rorie, Sherman Mason and Cassandra Durham.
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Student  participants

• Mary Lou Andrews Blakeney
• Brenda Jean Fountain Hamden
• Miriam Lynn Fountain Campbell
• Andrew Dennis McBride
• Arlean Wilkes
• Peter Mason
• Rufus Kenneth Newlin
• Joyce Simpson Clark
• George Garlington
• William Alston
• James Harrington
• Daniel Bell Jr
• Willie Gripper
• Edwin Council
• Deorphia Walker Pittman
• Robert Bostic
• Oscar (Jackie) Cole
• Regina Patterson Snead
• James Garlington
• Willie Mae Cole Ewing
• Wade Williams
• Mae Ella Pressley
• Bernice Bates
• Nancy Sturges
• William Franklin
• JoAnn Covington