GREENSBORO, NC (October 22, 2019) – Community members and academics will share perspectives on investigating difficult history and identifying paths forward as part of “History & Reconciliation: A Community Symposium” at 10 am, Sat., Oct. 26 at the Greensboro History Museum, 130 Summit Ave.
Members of the Guilford County Community Remembrance Coalition will discuss their ongoing work to research and mark the 1887 lynching of Eugene Hairston. Accused of assaulting a white woman near Colfax, the 17-year-old Hairston was taken to Greensboro for his protection. The next day, a mob broke into Hairston’s jail cell and took him outside the city and hanged him. The coalition is following processes to memorialize lynching victims developed through the Equal Justice Institute’s National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.
Also, Dr. Spoma Jovanovich, author of Democracy, Dialogue and Community Action: Truth and Reconciliation in Greensboro, will join Beloved Community Center of Greensboro co-director Joyce Johnson and retired attorney Lewis Pitts to reflect on the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Organized in 2004 as a response to the 1979 Greensboro Massacre, it was the first such commission in the United States. November 3 marks the 40th anniversary of the massacre, when five protesters were killed by Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members.
The symposium will conclude with a look at future approaches to history and reconciliation as part of building a stronger democracy. Dr. Omar Ali, Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at UNC Greensboro, will moderate a panel on this topic. Participants include Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson, Mott Distinguished Professor of Women’s Studies and Director of Africana Women’s Studies at Bennett College; Dr. William F. Harris II, Head of the Initiative for the New Constitution at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum; and Dr. Arwin Smallwood, Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at NC A&T State University.
This program is co-sponsored with the Beloved Community Center, the UNCG Department of Communication Studies and the NCA Center for Communication, Community Collaboration and Change. It is free and open to the public.
The Greensboro History Museum – an AAM-accredited Smithsonian Affiliate – shares the city’s compelling history through diverse collections, engaging exhibits, educational programs and community dialogue. Located in Downtown Greensboro’s Cultural District, the museum is open Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday 2–5 pm. Admission is free. Learn more at www.greensborohistory.org.