Gala Honors Nation’s Notables

Gala Honors Nation’s Notables

By Yasmine Regester / February 9, 2018

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Sandra Hughes accepts the Unsung Hero award on behalf of her former WFMY News2 colleague, Dr. Lee Kinard Jr. Co-founders Earl Jones and Skip Aston. Photo by Charles Edgerton/Carolina Peacemaker

On July 25, 1960, Greensboro resident, Charles Bess and three other African American employees took their seats at a newly integrated lunch counter. Fifty-eight years later, Bess talked about how it felt to visit the former F.W. Woolworth lunch counter he worked at for years before he was ever allowed to eat at it.

“Every February, I get excited about this month because Woolworth is a place I will never forget,” said Bess about the 1960s lunch counter sit-ins.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum held its 2018 Annual Gala Fundraiser on Saturday to celebrate the 58th anniversary of the historic sit-ins that began at the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter five-and-dime store in Greensboro.

Bess was one of six people presented with awards at the annual gala for their contributions to civil and human rights. He and three honorees, William “Bill” Lucy, Debra Lee and Joseph Williams shared reflections on the past at a press conference held at the museum before the gala.