Decades After Killings, A City Apologizes

Greensboro Massacre March
Abeni Jones
November 1, 2021

On November 3rd, 1979, the KKK and American Nazis worked with the police in a conspiracy in Greensboro, NC that killed five anti-racist activists and injured many others. They opened fire in broad daylight on an anti-Klan demonstration – and what followed was yet another disaster.

Cops followed the killers to the scene and waited while they murdered protesters! After the white supremacists were allowed to kill and flee, police arrested those HELPING the wounded and dead!

Even worse? After facing all-white juries, absolutely no one involved was convicted.

The city remained wounded for decades after this injustice took place. This stain on Greensboro was not forgotten – though it went unacknowledged by the city despite the open fact that this violence was enabled by its police. Now, that has finally changed.

In 2020, the city council, voting 7-2, passed a resolution officially apologizing for and admitting the wrongdoing. The police declined to comment, but survivors like Reverend Nelson Johnson and Joyce Hobson Johnson are speaking out after pushing for years for recognition and respect for the dead.

In an interview with Democracy Now, Joyce Johnson explained that those demonstrating that day were friends that came together to “combat racism and really build a community.” 

An apology isn’t justice. The fight isn’t over, but we can honor those lost by continuing to combat racism and state violence today!

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