Citizen Action Monitor

Ordinary hero’s advice to young activists — “Don’t wait for the masses, because they ain’t coming!”

Immortal words of Franklin McCain, of Greensboro Four fame, dead at 73

No 953 Posted by fw, January 15, 2014

Advice to today’s young rebels

As frequent calls for mass movements fall on deaf ears, Franklin McCain’s immortal words “Don’t wait for the masses” resonate in these desperate times.

In the following 2:13-minute profile-in-courage tribute to Franklin McCain, 1942-2014, the National Museum of American History has captured McCain’s famous words.

Franklin McCain: “I’m talking to you, the youth. I’m saying to you, all you have to do is believe, all you have to do is have a dose of commitment, throw yourself to the wind, forget about caution, and in the words of Eric Hoffer, the stevedore, become the true believer. And my parting words are to you, if you want to do something, don’t wait for the masses, because they ain’t coming!

And in the following 1-minute clip, the elder McCain advises budding activists:

“Don’t follow your head. Don’t follow your heart. Follow your gut. But don’t wait for anybody. They won’t come….It is you, you’ve got the vision. And you’ve got the faith and the confidence in yourself that you know that you can make it happen. But if you continue to wait, all the masses will do is pull you down and discourage you and give you all the reasons that it won’t work.

The sit-in that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement

Lastly, the following 6:11-minute clip showing the young Franklin McCain (wearing glasses) at the sit-in at a Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, which helped catalyze the civil rights movement. The group of four African-American college students sat down at the whites-only counter in on February 1, 1960, and refused to leave. The next day, they returned. Within days, 300 people were taking part. The sit-in helped spark a wave of similar actions across the segregated South. Today, two other members of the Greensboro Four are still alive; a third, David Richmond, died in 1990. McCain died Thursday, January 9, 2014 of respiratory complications at a hospital just a few miles from the old Woolworth, which is now a civil rights museum.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog, Citizen Action Monitor, may contain copyrighted material that may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I claim no ownership of such materials. Such material, published without profit, is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues. It is published in accordance with the provisions of the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada ruling and its six principle criteria for evaluating fair dealing.

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