Aran Shetterly


The untold story of the Greensboro Massacre and the dangerous history of race, class, and power politics in the American South

Amistad, forthcoming ,

On November 3, 1979, Ku Klux Klan members and Neo-Nazis shot and killed five people in the middle of the street in Greensboro, North Carolina. As local black, white, and Latino communists, together with their working class allies were marching in a “Death to the Klan” rally, men referring to themselves as “The United Racist Front” attacked in broad daylight. As Aran will investigate, participants in this tragedy went through years of divisive trials that inflamed the city’s racial and class tensions while providing little justice. Years later, the first Truth and Reconciliation commission ever convened in the United States focused on the the murders and began to offer the community and the nation a way to understand what had happened.

What we do know is that Greensboro’s violent clash involving race and class, urban and rural culture, is a deeply American story that tests the promises and failings of our national experiment. The mysteries aren’t about who exactly did the shooting, but about why they did it, and how they got away with it. To answer these questions, MORNINGSIDE will examine a southern city’s relationship to its past and probe troubling links between white supremacy, institutional racism, and police corruption, a toxic nexus that corrodes our democracy.