There’s a lunch counter on display in the Smithsonian Institution that was taken from Greensboro, North Carolina. According to the plaque, Greensboro was the site of the first civil rights sit-in in the American south. But at least a year before the sit-ins in North Carolina, CORE (The Congress of Racial Equality) targeted the lunch counters of downtown Miami’s five and dimes. Woolworth’s, McCrory’s, and Grants became the battlefields of civil disobedience with the hope of ending the stores’ “whites only” policies.
And my parents — Leonard and Annsheila Turkel — were part of the courageous team responsible for this patriotic movement. If you’d like to learn more, my brother, sister and I edited together historic footage to create a short video that tells the story of these American heroes and we’ve posted it on YouTube for the world to see.
The ACLU thought our parents’ actions were important enough to merit a lifetime achievement award. We think they belong in the Smithsonian.