August 4, 2002
8:12 AM   Subscribe

The Greensboro Massacre: “On November 3, 1979, five people were killed in broad daylight on the streets of Greensboro (NC) by an organized group of men. As they shot into the crowd the killers were filmed by TV news crews and were easily identified by the police. Yet nobody was convicted of a crime for the killings.” (quoted text and links from
posted by jennyb (8 comments total)
Some argue that even the positive civil rights history of Greensboro, such as the February 1, 1960 lunch counter sit-in, doesn't get the recognition it deserves, even in Greensboro's own Historical Museum. The Greensboro Massacre receives even less recognition, to the point that the local paper won't allow the term "Greensboro Massacre" to appear in print.

Now the International Center for Transitional Justice, an organization "founded... to assist societies pursuing accountability for human rights abuse" has been contracted by the Greensboro Massacre Reconciliation Project to finally bring the truth of what happened here on November 3, 1979 to light. This is the only project in the US with which the ICTJ is currently involved.
posted by jennyb at 8:16 AM on August 4, 2002

In a galaxy not far way & not that long ago...
- Mrs. Thatcher elected
- Ronnie running for president
- Revolution in Iran
- Nazi atrocity in the U.S.??
- Police complicity in attacks
- No-one convicted of murder

It couldn't happen here. Could it?
posted by dash_slot- at 9:25 AM on August 4, 2002

Like the story last week of the Texas sheriff who ran many of the townspeople off to prison with a kangaroo court, I can't believe that a) stuff like this happens/happened and b) nothing has been done about it. I look forward to seeing what the ICTJ brings up in its investigation.
posted by mathowie at 9:26 AM on August 4, 2002

Holy cow, the son of one of the victims was given two consecutive life sentences (later freed) for a burglary that was non-violent, a year after the successful civil suit. Those two wouldn't be connected would they? Ya think?
posted by mathowie at 9:43 AM on August 4, 2002

I was living in Greensboro at that time. The Communist Workers Party/Workers Viewpoint Organization were making their presence known in the area. Picketing stuff, handing out leaflets in parking lots, plastering posters on utility boxes, and so on. They decided to have a 'Smash the Klan' rally. They publicized it widely around the state, and invited the Klan to show up.

The Klan showed up. Both sides were armed. The Klan were better shots.

Greensboro was shocked. The DA, who had a good reputation for both competence and fair dealing, decided that the Klansmen were going to hang. He did his best to seat a hanging jury. The problem with his strategy (in retrospect) was that a 'hanging jury' is blue collar and uneducated. In other words, from the same social strata and probably sharing the same political convictions as the Klansmen who were on trial. If they had convicted the Klansmen, they would've hung them. But they never convicted them.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:03 AM on August 4, 2002

Alas, this is Greensboro, NC. I lived there for 5 years. I've bad news for all of you -- of the three cities in the Triad are of North Carolina (the others being Winston-Salem and High Point) -- it's the progressive one.

I keep hoping it would change. Acutally, I keep hoping the entire Piedmont area of North Carolina would just dissapear, and allow the coast of NC to abut the mountains of NC, and turn the state into one of the more glorious vacation areas in the world. (You should visit the NC Appalachians and the Outer Banks. Very, very beautiful. Just drive fast through the flat parts.)
posted by eriko at 11:06 AM on August 4, 2002

Anybody remember the OMD song?
posted by elvissinatra at 4:16 PM on August 4, 2002


Some of us of the less snobby variety happen to enjoy life in the Piedmont (in Greensboro, actually). So poop on you, mister.

There has been a Civil Rights museum in the works at the Woolworths downtown for several years now. The gigantic egos involved in it's realization have been getting in the way for most of that time.

I'm glad to see that the Greensboro "Massacre" is finally getting some recognition. It's an incredible story, and a terrible legacy.
posted by glenwood at 6:50 AM on August 5, 2002

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