The campaign to win a state historical marker commemorating the Royal Ice Cream sit-in -- a process that, with two denials and an appeal approved only after a show of deep community and local governmental support -- officially comes to fruition this Monday night, when the roadside sign will be unveiled at Union Baptist Church, 904 N. Roxboro St.
June 23 will mark the 51st anniversary of the sit-in, which triggered a legal battle up to the N.C. Supreme Court and came before similar, and more publicized, actions in Greensboro and other cities throughout the southeast.
Union Baptist now owns the property where the building that once housed Royal Ice Cream sat; in 2006 the church demolished the building that once housed the parlor.
The marker will be unveiled within the church's sanctuary as the culmination of a one-hour program commemorating the sit-in. Virginia Williams, one of the participants in the event, will lead the unveiling of the commemorative roadside sign, which reads "Segregation protest at an ice cream parlor on this site, June 23, 1957, led to court case testing dual racial facilities.”
After the construction is complete for a school the church is building, the sign will be permanently erected at the corner of N. Roxboro and Dowd. The public is invited to Monday night's event.