In Greensboro, N.C., the legacy of the Greensboro Six continues to inspire and shape the lives of the youth at First Tee-Central Carolina. Among them is Will Lowery, a golf personality and influencer who shares a personal connection to the historic events that unfolded at the Gillespie Golf Course.
Lowery's grandparents, who lived just blocks away from the course, had recounted to him the brave actions of Dr. George Simkins Jr., a local dentist, and his five friends in December 1955. Six days after Rosa Parks' act of defiance in Montgomery, Alabama, the Greensboro Six attempted to integrate the municipal golf course despite the prevailing racial segregation. Their determination and courage left a lasting impression on Lowery.
The significance of the Greensboro Six's struggle resonates with Lowery, who believes in leading by example and standing up for what is right. He understands the obstacles they faced and the resistance they encountered during a time of great racial tension. Lowery acknowledges the privilege of being able to walk on the Gillespie golf course today, a place that once denied access to Black golfers.
Recently, Lowery hosted a clinic at Gillespie Golf Course for the kids at First Tee-Central Carolina, aiming to instill the values of determination and perseverance through the sport of golf. Joining him was PGA TOUR champion Charley Hoffman, who showcased his golf skills and offered inspiration to the young participants.
The event also saw Wyndham Championship officials announce a generous $200,000 donation to the local First Tee chapter, further supporting the organization's efforts to provide golfing opportunities and life skills education to young individuals.
Looking ahead, the First Tee building at Gillespie Golf Course will bear witness to history once more as a mural commissioned by Wyndham Rewards celebrates the Greensboro Six. This mural, painted on the building's exterior wall, will serve as a reminder of the courageous actions that led to integration and equality in golf and society.
The story of the Greensboro Six's struggle for justice continues to be relevant and powerful. The memories of Dr. George Simkins Jr. and his friends stand as a beacon of hope and an example of the resilience and determination needed to overcome adversity. As today's youth participate in First Tee-Central Carolina's programs at Gillespie Golf Course, they not only engage with the sport but also connect with a rich history of civil rights activism, propelling them towards a future of positive change and unity.
The impact of the Greensboro Six's actions extends far beyond the golf course. Their fight for democracy and equality resonates throughout history, and their legacy lives on in the hearts of those who seek to make the world a better place. As the mural takes shape, it will serve as a constant reminder of the struggles faced and overcome, sparking conversations about the significance of these events and inspiring future generations to stand up for what is right.
Two decades may have passed since the Greensboro Six departed, but their story remains a testament to the power of courage and determination in the pursuit of justice.