Man in historic lunch counter sit-in photo remembers day of integration

57 Years Later: Woolworth's Integration

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- You’ve seen his photo over the years, the man behind the counter of the historic Woolworth’s Lunch Counter Sit-In movement.

The background of the photo shows a busboy and his name is Charles Bess.

Bess had a front row to history in the making as four North Carolina A&T State University students known as the Greensboro Four, sat down at the lunch counter and refused to leave. 

Bess who was just 23-years-old was working at the lunch counter as a busboy. He was also there on February 1, 1960 watching history unfold that would later change his own life forever. The sit-ins ended nearly 6 months later on July 25, 1960. 

Bess was also one of the first African Americans to be served at the lunch counter after a policy change at Woolworth.

Now at age 80, Bess is helping to retell the story of that historic moment.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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