Whenever someone brings up the civil rights sit-in movement in Guilford County, they are almost always talking about the famous sit-in by four black men at the Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro.

However, there was another one in that same year of 1960 – a protest sit-in began by four high school students in High Point.

 It usually doesn’t get the same type of publicity, however, at the Guilford County Board of Commissioner’s Thursday, Feb. 15 meeting, the board focused on the High Point sit-in and paid homage to the 64th anniversary of the event.

Mary Lou Blakeney, who was one of the four teenagers who led the event and later went on to be a Ward 1 representative on the High Point City Council, was honored at the meeting and she thanked the commissioners for the honor.

 She also said that a lot of progress battling racism had been made since then but added that there was quite a ways to go.

She told the board that she was not going to say her age, but that she was a high school student at the time.

(It is well known that Blakeney was 15 years old at the time, which was 1960, so the Rhino Times feels confident that there is a way to calculate Blakeney’s age based on that information.)

At the meeting, the county commissioners adopted a resolution honoring the event.

“Whereas, the Civil Rights Movement progressed not through one singular dramatic event, but through a series of small and significant demonstrations of quiet courage and resolve that would change the course of history; and Whereas, one such event occurred on February 11, 1960 when twenty-six students from William Penn High School, High Point High School and High Point Junior High School led by Mary Lou Andrews Blakeney, Andrew Dennis McBride, Lynn and Brenda Fountain, and Reverend Benjamin Elton Cox held a sit-in at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in High Point to protest segregation….Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Guilford County Board of Commissioners do hereby recognize the 64th anniversary of the High Point sit-in movement as a memorial to justice and equality; and call upon our community to join us in celebrating those who labored to advance America’s dream of democracy and inclusion.”

The resolution also noted that the High Point sit-in is recognized as one of the first protests in the nation led by high school students and that it took place only ten days after the Greensboro sit-in that was led by North Carolina A&T State University students.

The resolution adopted by the board also noted that the remembrance the High Point sit-in “continues to enhance the historic prominence, future economic development, as well as, cultural tourism of High Point and Guilford County.”

It also cited the bravery, determination and quiet resolve of the students who participated.