November 3, 1979
The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission is charged in its mandate with seeking the truth surrounding Nov. 3, 1979, as a means of fostering reconciliation and healing in the community.
The Commissioners have only begun to hear from people in the community, but they already have learned several lessons. First, they have learned that multiple perspectives exist within the community on the truth surrounding Nov. 3, 1979. Differing perspectives exist even within the obvious groupings of class, gender, politics and worldviews. Second, they have learned that many myths continue to cloud the "truth" about that day. Furthermore, the commissioners suspect that it is precisely because of these myths that Nov. 3 continues to effect the quality of economic, social, political, spiritual and educational life in Greensboro.
The Commission will be relying upon statements from individuals of all perspectives as well as news, legal, and other government documents to discern exactly what happened on November 3, 1979. Here are a few quotes from such sources giving a brief description of different perspectives on what happened that day:
  • "On November 3, 1979, a coalition of people gathered in a low-income neighborhood in Greensboro, North Carolina, to demonstrate for racial and economic justice. They were fired upon by others, and a number of demonstrators were killed and wounded in what became known as the Greensboro Massacre." (Hollyday, Joyce. 2004. The Altar of Truth. The Other Side. May & June. Pp. 20-23.)

  • "[The Workers Viewpoint Organization] sponsored an anti-Klan rally on November 3, 1979, that was attacked by several carloads of Klansmen and Nazis who murdered and maimed demonstrators." (Waller, Signe. 2002. Love and Revolution: a political memoir. Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: Lanhan, MD. pg. x)

  • "Nov. 3 [was] a violent confrontation between Communist Workers Party members and the Ku Klux Klan at Morningside Homes in Greensboro [that] left five CWP members deadů Nov. 3 was indeed a sad day in the city's history. It was a sad day because a group of political agitators-the CWP-exploited the poor people of a Greensboro housing project, putting those people in mortal danger for the CWP's political gain. (Wright, Mark. Oct. 24,1999. "Journalist: CWP intent on provoking confrontation". News & Record.)

  • "The only urban legend associated with the event is the Greensboro government and business leadership's depiction of the event as a "shootout." For the current mayor to say that the city will not apologize simply ensures a continued worldwide negative image of Greensboro as a hard, mean city." (Gilmour, Monroe. Nov. 9,1999. Letters to the Editor. News & Record.)



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