A Poignant Moment

As I was watching the first groups tour the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro last week, I noticed an elderly lady in a wheelchair being pushed along the counter of the old Woolworth building where the sit-ins began 50 years ago. The tour leader asked who she was and she told him she was Geneva Tisdale, a former Woolworth employee, who six months after the sit-ins began, was in a small group who were the first African-Americans to be served at the lunch counter. I had the opportunity to speak with her for a few moments. I first asked her if she remembered what day she was served. She shook her head and said she didn’t remember. I then asked her if she remembered what she ate. Suddenly the most incredible smile I have ever seen came over her face. She looked at me and said, “It was an egg salad sandwich.”

(Photographs copyright 2010 by Dan Routh)

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