First truth and reconciliation hearing delayed
The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission is pushing its first public hearing back by more than a month, the organization announced on May 4.
The first hearing, which will examine factors that led up to the Nov. 3, 1979 confrontation between a group of Nazis and Klansmen and another group of communist labor organizers, will be held on June 27 and 28 at Triad Stage in downtown Greensboro. The first hearing was originally scheduled for May 20 and 21.
Additionally, the Commission plans to hold two-day public hearings on the themes of ‘labor conditions and labor organizing,’ ‘social economics of race’ and ‘public acknowledgement and accountability’ over the course of the summer before issuing its final report.
Executive Director Jill E. Williams said the decision to postpone the hearing was made because of difficulty finding people to testify.
‘“The commissioners decided that we didn’t have a broad enough list of people from whom to chose,’” she said. ‘“It was a tough decision to make.’”
Williams said the first hearing will examine the personal decisions of participants and social conditions of Greensboro in the period leading up to the Klan-Nazi shootings that resulted in the deaths of five communists.
‘“Our plan right now is to draw from the statements that have already been given,’” she said. ‘“People will talk about what brought them to November third and what brought Greensboro to November third. Some people will talk about the labor issues, the race relations in Greensboro and the political climate. Some people will probably talk about how they woke up in Morningside Homes [the site of the shootings] and had no idea this was about to happen.’”
‘— Jordan Green