Episode 43: 39 Shots

5/20/2016, 8:00:00 AM , duration(0:0:1)
Personal Journals/Personal Journals Society & Culture
<p>In 1979, a group of labor organizers protested outside a Ku Klux Klan screening of the 1915 white supremacist film, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_a_Nation" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>The</em> <em>Birth of a Nation</em></a>. Nelson Johnson and Signe Waller-Foxworth remember shouting at armed Klansmen and burning a confederate flag, until eventually police forced the KKK inside and the standoff ended without violence. The labor organizers felt they'd won a small victory, and planned a much bigger anti-Klan demonstration in Greensboro, North Carolina. They advertised with the slogan: “Death to the Klan" and set the date for November 3rd, 1979.</p> <p>As protestors assembled, a caravan of nine cars appeared, and a man in a pick-up truck yelled: "You asked for the Klan! Now you've got 'em!" Thirty-nine shots were fired in eighty-eight seconds, and five protestors were killed. The city of Greensboro is still grappling with the complicated legacy of that day.</p> <p><em>The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s <a href="http://www.greensborotrc.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">full report</a> is available online.</em></p> <p><em>Today, Reverend Nelson Johnson is a pastor with Faith Community Church and serves as the Executive Director for the <a href="http://www.belovedcommunitycenter.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"> Beloved Community Center of Greensboro</a>, which advocates for social and economic justice.</em></p> <p><em>Signe Waller-Foxworth is the author of  </em><a href="http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780742513655" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir</a>.</p> <p><em>Eric Ginsburg is the associate editor at the </em><a href="http://triad-city-beat.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Triad City Beat</a>. </p> <p><em>For this story, we also interviewed Elizabeth Wheaton, author of </em> <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Codename-Greenkill-1979-Greensboro-Killings/dp/0820309354" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Codename Greenkill</a>.</p> <p>Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. </p> <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/CriminalShow/~4/iAi33Fj1akk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>