Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two Rock Hill men ask for and receive forgiveness for their ra...

ROCK HILL — Next to a lunch counter that was segregated for so long sat a table of two white people and five black people Friday afternoon. Conversation quickly took them back to Jan. 31, 1961.

Elwin Wilson, one of those white men, had come that day to that very lunch counter four steps away from where he was now, wanting to pull one of those black men off the stool. He wanted to give a beating.

The other white man, Steve Coleman, had been just outside, among so many, wanting to scream racial epithets.

Steve Coleman, left, hugs Phyllis Hyatt, one of the "City Girls" from the civil rights demostrations in downtown in the sixties, after meeting at the Old Town Bistro in Rock Hill Friday.

But 48 years on, Wilson, now 72, and Coleman, in his mid-60s, wanted something entirely different from these five black people.

They wanted forgiveness.


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