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Greensboro Pastors Want Apology For 1979 Massacre

Courtesy of Ivan Saul Cutler

Ahead of the 40th anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre, local pastors are requesting the the city council issue an apology for the events that led to the 1979 killing.

On November 3, 1979, the Ku Klux Klan alongside neo-Nazis shot and killed five activists and communist party members in broad daylight in Greensboro. The shooters were acquitted twice by all-white juries. Evidence later emerged in a federal trial that an informant had given the Greensboro Police Department advance notice of the attack. 

Greensboro Pulpit Forum President Daran Mitchell wants the city to acknowledge its role in the Greensboro Massacre.

"We want it to have a higher level of substance so there are some moves made and some steps and strategies taken to keep these things from occurring again," he said.

The city apologized in 2017 for its role, but the pastors said that statement did not go far enough. Beloved Community Center co-director Nelson Johnson said the city needs to be clear in its apology.

"An apology without articulating the specifics for which you are apologizing is empty words," he said.

The city and the police department have not responded publicly to this latest request for an apology.

Naomi P. Brown joined WUNC in January 2017.
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