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Open Hand Publishing author, Chuck Stone, received the prestigious Trailblazer Award from Greensboro, NC’s Sit-In Movement, Inc. and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum on Feb. 1, 2005. Professor Stone is the author of Squizzy the Black Squirrel: A Fabulous Fable of Friendship, the award-winning children’s book published by Open Hand in 2003.

The Trailblazer award is given annually to commemorate pioneers in the struggle for civil rights and equality for African-Americans. Professor Stone was awarded this honor based on his many achievements in the field of journalism, as he was one of the first Black journalists who became prominent in both African-American media and then general mainstream print, radio and television media.

Richard Koritz, who is both the Publisher for Open Hand Publishing, LLC and member of the Board of Directors for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, had the distinct honor of presenting his good friend, Professor Stone, with the award.

The Sit-In Movement, Inc. and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum’s annual banquet and presentation of this award corresponded with the unveiling of the external façade of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The museum is being created in the old Woolworth’s building in downtown, Greensboro. This was the location of the historic sit-in on Feb. 1, 1960, where four A&T African-American freshmen sat down at the Woolworth’s cafeteria in order to challenge segregated lunch counters and legal segregation. The courageous A&T Four launched what ultimately became the nationwide civil rights and Black liberation movement.

Other award recipients at the banquet were legendary civil rights figures such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, SCLC’s retired chairman Reverend Joseph Lowery, and retired PGA golfer Charlie Sifford.