SERVICE Mural Celebrates African American History in North Carolina

Quashie mural

The SERVICE mural at the UNC School of Government, created in 2010, honors the Greensboro Four. On February 1, 1960, these North Carolina A&T State University students launched a nonviolent sit-in movement that spread to 54 cities in nine states in protest of racial segregation. The mural also celebrates the contributions of dozens of African Americans to North Carolina.

SERVICE depicts a gathering of African American leaders at the lunch counter of a store not unlike F.W. Woolworth in Greensboro. The artist, Colin Quashie, has featured the Greensboro Four—Joseph McNeil, David Richmond, Jibreel Khazan (formerly known as Ezell Blair, Jr.), and Franklin McCain—as chefs because, as Quashie explains, "they literally took possession of the lunch counter with their refusal to leave until served. By seeking service they were, by extension, serving a cause greater than themselves."

SERVICE is on display on the first floor of the Knapp-Sanders Building across from the School of Government dining room. Quashie explains why he picked this location for the mural: “When I saw the bare wall facing the School of Government’s dining facility, I immediately knew that the visual length of a lunch counter would figure nicely there. It was the perfect location for a collaboration. Public officials and others who take courses at the School would line up in that hallway and would have to walk the length of the painting before entering the dining hall."

SERVICE is accessible to the public. The Knapp-Sanders Building is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To visit during off-hours, please contact Sonja Matanovic at 919.966.4178 or


Published February 5, 2016