Click on the name to read transcripts of the public hearings speakers' statements. In most cases, the biographical information comes directly from the speakers themselves. More links will be added as statements are transcribed.
First Public Hearing
What brought us to November 3, 1979?
July 15-16, 2005
to the News and Record's Podcast of the first Public Hearing.)
- Nettie Coad works as a trainer and organizer of the Partnership Project. She has been a community activist for 30 years, particularly in housing and education inequity. She has been involved in organizing and community revitalization efforts, local government response to social activism, and Klan presence in Greensboro.
- Mab Segrest, PhD is the Fuller-Matthai professor and department chair of Gender and Women's Studies at Connecticut College. She was executive director of North Carolinians Against Religious and Racist Violence, a group that monitored hate crimes in North Carolina during hte 1980s.
- Si Kahn is the executive director of Grassroots Leadership, has spent 40 years as a civil rights, labor and community organizer and musician in the South. From 1975 to 1979, he worked with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) on the J.P. Stevens campaign in Roanoke Rapids, NC, and other Southern communities.
- Mab Segrest, PhD is the Fuller-Matthai professor and department chair of Gender and Women's Studies at Connecticut College. She was executive director of North Carolinians against Religious and Racist Violence, a group that monitored hate crimes in North Carolina during the 1980s.
- Lewis Brandon, III is a graduate of NC A&T State University and was a student organizer in the 1960s. He was actively involved in the Congress of Racial Equality, Greensboro Association of Poor People (GAPP), and the NAACP, and he was a colleague and friend of Sandi Smith, whom he met when she was a student intern at GAPP.
- Signe Waller, PhD is Jim Waller's widow and a survivor of the November 3rd violence. She is also a vice president and board member of the Greensboro Justice Fund, a current resident of Greensboro, NC, and author of Love and Revolution: A Political Memoir (2002) that deals with the events surrounding November 3, 1979.
- Paul Bermanzohn, MD was critically wounded on November 3, 1979. In 1979 he worked with the African Liberation Support Committee, was an active community organizer and member of the Carolina Brown Lung Association. He is the son of two Holocaust survivors and received his medical degree from Duke University. He is married to Sally Bermanzohn, with whom he has two children, Sandy and Leola.
- Claude Barnes, PhD is a graduate of NC A&T State University and received both an MA and a PhD degrees in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University. He was active in the Greensboro Association for Poor People and Students Organized for Black Unity. In 1969, the school board's lack of recognition of his write-in candidacy for student body president at Dudley High School ultimately ignited a student revolt.
- Gorrell Pierce is a lifelong resident of Forsyth County, works in the lumber business and has owned a small farm for years. In 1979, he was the Grand Dragon of the Federated Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
- Ed Whitfield is a longtime Greensboro activist who came to Greensboro in 1979 as an instructor at the Malcolm X Liberation University and then became involved in communtiy and labor organizing while raising a family. He was chairman of the Greensboro Redevelopment Commission for nearly ten years and is now a frequent volunteer in the public schools and a columnist for the Carolina Peacemaker.
- Yonni Chapman is currently a PhD candidate at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in US History. His dissertation topic is Black Freedom and the University of North Carolina. On November 3, 1979, he was one of the anti-Klan demonstrators and was a member of the Communist Workers Party. Since that time, he has continued racial justice organizing in Chapel Hill and serves as the historian of the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP.
- Elizabeth Wheaton researched and wrote about the Greensboro killings, including the 1981 Institute for Southern Studies special report, "The Third of November," and the book CODENAME: GREENKIL (1986). She spoke about the CWP's philosophy and tactics and the effect they had on NC union members and other progressive activists. She also addressed the role of informants and agents in the tragedy.
- Virgil Griffin has been the Imperial Wizard of the Cleveland Knights Ku Klux Klan (CKKKK) since 1985. As the Grand Dragon of the CKKKK, he was a member of the Klan/Nazi caravan on November 3, 1979.
- Jeffrey Woods, PhD is an assistant professor of History at Arkansas Tech University. His research focus is on segregation and anticommunism in the Cold War South. He is the author of Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anticommunism in the South, 1948-1968 (2004).
- Joe Roy is the chief investigator, and former director, of the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center; he worked with the SPLC for over 20 years. Roy has participated in most of hte cases the SPLC has litigated against white supremacist groups and is one of the major strategists for the Center.
Second Public Hearing
What happened on, and after, November 3, 1979?
August 26-27, 2005
to the News and Record's Podcast of the second Public Hearing.)
- Judge James Long is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar in 1959 and a graduate of UNC-CH School of Law in 1963. He served as a Caswell County Recorders Court Judge from 1964-1970 and a Superior Court Judge in District 17B from 1970-1994. Judge Long was the presiding judge in the state murder trial of the Klan-Nazi defendants in 1980. He has been a professional mediator and arbitrator since 1994.
- Winston Cavin, a Durham native, was a 26-year-old reporter for the Greensboro Daily News (now the News & Record) on November 3, 1979. He was given the "Death to the Klan" assignment a couple of days in advance and covered a CWP press conference to learn more about the event.
- Captain R.D. Ball and Sergeant M. Toomes both work in the Vice Narcotics Division of the Greensboro Police Department and were both on the scene shortly after the 1979 shootings. Ball has been on the force since 1974 and Toomes, since 1974.
- Ramon Bell is a retired member for the Greensboro Police Department and was added to the speakers list for the hearing after he approached staff members saying he could answer Commissioners' questions about police knowledge and operation plans on November 3, 1979, not answered by other speakers.
- Candy Clapp is a former resident of Morningside Homes; she was sixteen years old on November 3, 1979, and lived on Jennifer Street. She is currently raising her daughter, who is a senior at Dudley High School.
- Floris Caton Cauce Weston was born in Panama City, Panama, and immigrated to the United States in 1958 with her parents and siblings. As a student at George Washington University, she joined the February First Movement, a group of students named after the historic date of the first Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins. She met Cesar Cauce while both were helping to organize a 1977 African Liberation Day demonstration. They married in June 1979 and were newlyweds at the time of Cesar’s death.
- Sally Bermanzohn, PhD is a professor of political science and department chair at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, Berhmanzohn wrote Through Survivors' Eyes: From the Sixties to the Greensboro Massacre, and edited the book Violence and Politics: Globalization's Paradox. She is currently writing a book on domestic terrorism and the Ku Klux Klan and is a survivor of the November 3, 1979, tragedy.
- Rev. Nelson Johnson was born in Littleton, N.C. on the family farm, and is currently the pastor of Faith Community Church. Prior to attending N.C. A&T, he spent four years in the Air Force. He has an extensive history as a visionary and community organizer for racial and economic justice both locally and nationally. Among other roles he serves as executive director of the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, as the national chair of Interfaith Worker Justice as a member of the National Policy Review Board for the labor union UNITE-HERE. Wounded on November 3, 1979, Johnson and his wife, Joyce, have two adult daughters and three granddaughters.
- Virginia Turner was raised in Greensboro and worked in White Oak Mill from 1979 to 1990. She remembers the unionizing efforts and conditions in the mills prior to and following November 3, 1979. She is currently working for the packing department at Pace Communications.
- Rev. Cardes Brown was born in Rocky Mount and graduated from Greensboro Bible College with a Graduate of Theology degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree. He also received a Master of Divinity from Shaw Divinity School. He has been the pastor of New Light Baptist Church since 1975. In 1979, he was president of the Pulpit Forum, a group of area ministers concerned with community issues. At that time, New Light was located in the vicinity of Morningside, where the shootings occurred. Brown was involved in several groups organized after Nov. 3 to try to understand the violence and help the community toward reconciliation.
- Leah Wise, Larry Morse, PhD, and Michael Curtis all spoke on a "citizen's Response Panel" about the community response to the events of November 3, 1979. Wise is a lead organizer of the National Anti-Klan Network, a coalition made up of civil rights and church organizations formed in response to November 3, 1979. She was also a director of the Durham Based Southest Regional Economic Justice Network and later formed the North Carolinians Against Religious and Racist Violence. Morse is an economics professor at NCA&T State University. He was out of town on November 3, 1979, but was friends with initiators of the march. He was also a member of the Citizens for Justice and Unity and was a co-chair of the march and vigil in the early 1980s against Klan demonstrations. Curtis is the Judge Donald Smith Professor of Constitutional Law and Legal and Constitutional History at Wake Forest School of Law. He was also on the Human Relations Citizens Review Commission after November 3, 1979.
- Robert Cahoon, Harold Greeson and Percy Wall were publicly appointed defense attorneys for Roland Wayne Wood, Coleman (Johnny) Pridmore, and David Mathews, respectively, in the 1980 state murder trial.
- Lewis Pitts has been a public interest attorney since 1973 focusing on civil rights, environmental justice, children's rights and participatory democracy. He served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the 1985 federal civil trial from which the jury found eight defendants, including a Greensboro police lieutenant, a police detective, a police informant, and five Klan members and Nazis liable for the wrongful death of Dr. Michael Nathan.
- Prosecutors for the 1980 state murder trial--former District Attorney Michael Schlosser and former Assistant District Attorneys Rick Greeson and Jim Coman met with the Commission and, although they decided to not speak at our public hearing, they did agree for this summary of their conversation to be posted.
Third Public Hearing
What does the past have to do with the present and the future?
September 30 - October 1, 2005
to the News and Record's Podcast of the third Public Hearing.)
- Yvonne Johnson is a Greensboro native and graduate of Dudley High School and Bennett College for Women. In addition to an undergraduate degree in psychology, Johnson has a masters degree in guidance and counseling from NCA&T State University. She is director of One Step Further, Inc. Mediation Services and was the founder of Summit House. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Johnson also is president of Bennett's Board of Trustees.
- Jeff Thigpen was a member of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners from 1998 to 2004 and is currently an elected official serving as the Guilford County Register of Deeds. In the 1990s, Thigpen was a coordinator of the Business/Pulpit Forum Work Group, which was actively involved in bringing diverse groups together to get clarity and help resolve issues surrounding the K-Mart Boycott. He has an undergraduate degree from Guilford College and a masters degree from UNC-Greensboro.
- Willena Cannon was a member of the Communists Workers Party in 1979 who arrived on the scene after the shooting and was arrested there. Involved since 1963 in the Civil Rights Movement, she ahs participated in the African Liberation Movement, the Blind Workers Strike, the Cafeteria Workers Strike, the K-Mart boycott and the struggle for district representation in the City Council. She currently works as community housing organizer for the Greensboro Housing Coalition.
- Joyce Johnson is the director of the Jubilee Institute of Greensboro's Beloved Community Center and wife of the Rev. Nelson Johnson since 1969. A mother, grandmother and activist, she has worked for black liberation in the United States and Africa, quality public education, economic justice and women's rights. She retired in 2000 after 27 years of service to NCA&T State University, where she was director of the Transportation Institute. A native of Richmond, VA, she graduated from Duke University in 1968.
- Dr. Barton Parks has been a professor since 1980 for the Community and Justice Studies major at Guilford College. In the 1990s, Parks co-chaired a City Council-appointed committee that looked at ways to reduce crime and violence in Greensboro, and co-chaired another that studied the possibility of an independent community review board for police accountability. He also served on the search committee that ultimately hired Police Chief Robert White.
- Marie Stamey has been the president of the Eastside Park Neighborhood Association since 1996. A mother, grandmother, seamstress and resident of Eastside Park for more than 30 years, she has worked collaboratively with her neighbors, the police department, the City of Greensboro and the East Market Street Development Corp. to transform the formerly crime-ridden neighborhood.
- Ben Holder is a native Greensboro journalist, blogger and activist who has worked with the city for five years to eliminate blight. His targets have included illegal massage parlors, Randleman Road improvements and enforcement of ordinances against crack pipes and asbestos. As a reporter for the Carolina Peacemaker, he was a finalist for an investigative reporting award from the NC Press Association in 2001.
- Dr. Millicent Brown is an assistant professor in the history department at N.C. A&T State University. Her introduction into issues of segregation and educational equity began with her role as a child in Millicent Brown vs. School Board District 20, City of Charleston, SC, South Carolina's first desegregation case in 1963. Brown has been active since the 1960s in civil rights work, especially focusing on police brutality and educational equity.
- Dr. Michael Roberto is an assistant professor of history at N.C. A&T State University who teaches courses in world history, global studies, the history of socialism and modern revolutions. He holds a B.A. degree from Adelphi University, an M.A. from the University of Rhode Island and a Ph.D. from Boston College.
- Dr. Timothy Tyson is the author of the much-acclaimed Blood Done Sign My Name and other award-winning books. He is a senior research scholar at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies and visiting professor in the Duke Divinity School. A North Carolina native and Duke graduate, he is on leave from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
- Dr. Carlton Eversley has been the pastor of Winston Salem's Dellabrook Presbyterian Church since 1984. Eversley currently is serving as vice chair of the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice, and as a member fo the Mayor's Commission on Racial Healing. HE formley was public information officer of the Darryl Hunt Defense Fund. (This transcript is not yet complete, but will be posted when it is.)
- Gary Curtis Cepnick was the news director at WFMY on Nov. 3, 1979. Prior to a career change in 1999, Curtis worked 30 years in broadcasting, including 15 years in management positions with Gannett, McGraw-Hill, Harte-Hanks and Chronicle. He is the recipient of numerous journalism and broadcasting awards.
- Dr. Martha Nathan is the widow of Dr. Michael Nathan, one of the five people killed on Nov. 3rd and executive director of the Greensboro Justice Fund, which supports Southern grassroots work fighting racist, religious and homophobic violence. A physician in Northampton, Mass., she is a graduate of Brown University and Duke University Medical School.
- Richard Koritz is a representative of the Letter Carriers Union to the AFL-CIO and managing partner of a small multicultural publishing company. A retired postal employee, he is co-leader of the weekly anti-war vigil in downtown Greensboro, and a former member of the Greensboro Human Relations Commission, for which he chaired the Police Complaint Review Committee. He also has served on the board of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.
- Deborah Kelly is the executive director of Centro de Acción Latino, which serves Latino newcomers and works to empower emerging Latino leaders. Born in Puerto Rico, she moved to Greensboro 12 years ago and lives with her three children and her husband. She serves on the board of the N.C. Latino Coalition and is chair of the Guilford Health Partnership.
- Tammy Tutt is a Greensboro resident who was living in Morningside Homes, the public housing community where the shooting happened, on November 3, 1979. She was born and raised in public housing and now is active in the community.
- Alison Duncan is the daughter of former CWP members Robert and Alaine Duncan, who believes her life has been colored by Nov. 3, although she hadn’t yet been born. A resident of Philadelphia, Pa., she is a 2004 graduate of Guilford College, where she double majored in English and Health Sciences and minored in math, African American Studies and visual arts.
- Cesar Weston is the son of Larry and Floris Weston and named after Floris’s first husband, Cesar Cauce, who was among the five killed on November 3. As a student, recent graduate and Bonner Scholar at Guilford College, he was active in local politics and service to the community. He has joined the Peace Corps and will depart soon for service either in the former Soviet Union or China.
- Jim Wrenn was among the 10 people wounded on Nov. 3. He lives and works in North Carolina and is a member of the N.C. Public Service Workers Union Local 150.
- Dr. Spoma Jovanovic is a Department of Communication faculty member at UNC-Greensboro. Originally from California, she received her B.A. from UCLA and her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Denver. Her scholarly interests include ethics, civic participation and community. She’s active in community-building projects including work to support the Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation Project and Action Greensboro's Creative Character initiative.
- Deena Hayes is a member of the Guilford County Board of Education whose work in the community centers on anti-racism efforts and has included service as board chair for the Partnership Project and chair of the state and local NAACP education committees, and active participation in the weekly Community Dialogue on Education. She is a graduate of Guilford College.
- Rev. Mazie Ferguson is president of the Greensboro-area’s Pulpit Forum ministerial alliance, an attorney and a gender-breaking N.C. Missionary Baptist pastor. A native of Sumter, S.C., and a lifelong activist who has served on numerous boards and commissions, she is a preacher, teacher, theologian and writer. She has a B.A. from S.C. State University, a J.D. from the University of South Carolina. Ordained in 1991, she is the founding pastor of Liberation Baptist Church, a motivational speaker for justice, and a coach and counselor with her consulting company, The Refinery.
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