The 1979 Greensboro Massacre: Lessons for Today
October 8, 2019
4:00 pm-5:30 pm
New Africa House
UMass Amherst Campus
Please join us for a presentation and dialogue featuring the acclaimed civil rights leaders, Rev. Nelson and Dr. Joyce Johnson of the Beloved Community Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Johnsons are survivors of the 1979 massacre, when a car caravan of Ku Klux Klansmen and neo-Nazis attacked a peaceful gathering of anti-racists in a Black community. The gunmen shot and killed five radical young labor organizers and wounded ten others, but were acquitted twice by all-white juries. A path-breaking civil rights suit demonstrated collusion between local law enforcement and the white supremacists; Greensboro subsequently became the first community in the U.S. to use a Truth and Reconciliation process to get "closer to the truth" of what happened on that day.
Today the Johnsons lead regional struggles for justice in cases of police brutality, homelessness, education, and denial of immigrant rights. They are core organizers with Rev. William Barber of The Poor People’s Campaign. They will speak to the lessons for today’s movements that they have gleaned from forty years of struggle against white supremacist violence, institutional racism, and anti-unionism.
Location and Access Information: There is a PVTA stop near New Africa House (Studio Arts Building/Fine Arts Center). Metered parking is available at the Robsham Visitors Center (300 Massachusetts Ave), the Campus Center Parking Garage (1 Campus Center Way), Infirmary Road, and Thatcher Road. Accessible parking is available nearby at Infirmary Way and Franklin Dining Commons (151 Presidents Drive). See map or interactive campus map for details.
Sponsored by UMass Afro-American Studies Department, History Department, and Resistance Studies Initiative.