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Title: Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Nantambu, Kojo, interviewee
Interview conducted by Thomas, Larry
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 136 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-02-09, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0059)
Author: Larry Thomas
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series B. Individual Biographies. Southern Oral History Program Collection (B-0059)
Author: Kojo Nantambu
Description: 115 Mb
Description: 40 p.
Note: Interview conducted on May 15, 1978, by Larry Thomas; recorded in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Linda Kiesel.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series B. Individual Biographies, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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An audio file with the interview complements this electronic edition.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978.
Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Nantambu, Kojo, interviewee


Interview Participants

    KOJO NANTAMBU, interviewee
    LARRY THOMAS, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
[Tape begins in the middle of interview.]
KOJO NANTAMBU:
… This is not the same Committee of 100 that was with the 1898 massacre. I used to feel like it was the same. I still feel like in some ways that they could be the same in their execution because they have the same powers, but right now the Committee of 100 serves the purpose of finding industry coming into Wilmington. You know, the city committee of 100 in 1898 was like the controlling families in Wilmington.
LARRY THOMAS:
But aren't these the descendants, the same people that are in this now?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yes. These are one hundred people who had the most authority, the most money, the most property in Wilmington. They made all the decisions. Like the Trask family, the Bellamy family … These people still exist and they could have a profound effect on the total existence of Wilmington then because they controlled Wilmington, the day-to-day life, the future life, the overall life of Wilmington. Most of the city officials to me just represent these people; these are their puppets. They are put out there and say, "Look, you represent this particular group of the committee, you represent this particular group of the committee." The committee itself is broken up into groups, each one puts somebody out there, and everybody who runs as a city official generally represents the feelings and attitudes of the committee, the Committee of 100 or

Page 2
400 or whatever.
LARRY THOMAS:
They run this city?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Oh, yeah. Definitely. It's a known fact that Trask himself as an individual has stopped a lot of industry from coming to Wilmington. There's a known fact that the Sprunts and the Kings [unknown]. They used to own Standard Oil Company. You know that. These people are there, but you don't hear about them. When things are happening—on a large political scale and some of them on a small scale—they just push their buttons, they just open their mouths, and things are done—or things are not done.
LARRY THOMAS:
You know what happened in 1898—the same thing I guess that happened in '71, too—poor whites were actually the initiators of the violence.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Definitely. Well, it's a known fact. It's been explained by many black educators, many aware black leaders, that poor whites hate us more than upper-class whites because of the fact that they're being treated the same way and they feel like their color gives them a superiority over us, and they hate to be treated the same way as us. So they feel like they have to lash out their hostilities and violence toward us rather than their own people. That's what that situation is. They did initiate the ROWP—which we'll get into later—that was one of the fine organizations there which was a vigilante organization of white people here, basically made up of nothing but poor white people.

Page 3
LARRY THOMAS:
Where were they from?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Basically from Sunset Park, a lot from Winter Park, some from around the [unknown] park area.
LARRY THOMAS:
What do you think they considered their purpose was when they were …
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Oh, to sustain the white order. To sustain the order of this community, the tradition of this society, and to keep the niggers in their place. They wasn't going to let things just transgress or transcend to a new era or a new level of understanding and development because we wanted it that way. They say, "The niggers might be demanding, but we're not going to let them have it." They fought to sustain things as they were.
LARRY THOMAS:
Let's go back to Friday.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Oh, yeah, sure. Chili got shot in the chest. We had to fix him up, and we didn't have any medical supplies. This was about seven o'clock Friday night, February the fifth, 1971. We had to search around to find some stuff to fix the brother up, so we had to go across the street to this brother's house named Mr. Cannady. We got some alcohol from him and Brother Templeton's wife happened to have some gauze and a bandage and some hydrogen peroxide. We cleaned the brother's wound and fixed him up because we didn't want to send him out to the hospital because some brothers say they already gone to the hospital the night before and the crackers tried to arrest them for getting shot. So we didn't want to take a chance

Page 4
on sending anybody out there because the first thing they was going to do was [unknown] evidently had to be doing something wrong, so they either tried to arrest them or tried to get them to squeal on somebody or something like that.
LARRY THOMAS:
Somebody got injured because of Caucasians going through there prior to …
KOJO NANTAMBU:
… prior to when my man came out there? Oh, yeah. You know I told you that Thursday night some people had got shot already. A few people got shot: a brother and a sister got shot walking on Castle Street, some people got shot walking down Dock Street. There were a lot of isolated incidents. The white folks was just riding through the black neighborhood and they found a lone nigger or one or two lone niggers, and just fired on them. It wasn't that many. We found out about them—they never came to us because I guess they were too scared. There were just as many incidents at the church. We tried to handle our own casualties. We set it up like a military base almost, like a bivouac or something, headquarters or something …
LARRY THOMAS:
At the church?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
We had a perimeter, we had men watching with binoculars to make sure that we knew when anybody was coming. We had a code word, a signal, a password, so if somebody was coming, he'd use the right word—we'd know if it was a brother, that kind of thing.

Page 5
LARRY THOMAS:
Would you consider these survival techniques, or what?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Survival techniques, definitely. Because at that particular time we were definitely on the defensive. We were just defending the church and defending the rights of the students to be in the church. There wasn't nothing about us going out attacking anybody. We were just making sure that nobody was going to attack us or the people in that neighborhood. When Chili got shot, kinda knocked the doors of the church down getting in because everybody tried to get out of the way. All the girls in the church were hollering and screaming, and the brothers were running around. We calmed everybody down and tried to get some order. We told everybody to lay up under the bleachers, to stay down. We made sure the brothers got out a little bit further on the perimeter. We sent them out about two blocks apiece to make sure the white folks didn't come through there.
All that night was gun fire. I myself and a few of my friends slept on the sidewalk that night, watching out and stuff like that. It was because of this night—I know for a fact—that Connie Tindall as well as a few others who I'll get to wasn't involved in the incident at Mike's Grocery.
LARRY THOMAS:
You know this for a fact?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Connie's birthday has got to be February 6th or 7th … because he told us that Friday night, "I don't know about y'all but I ain't going to be here tomorrow night. I'm going to be partying"—you know, celebrating his birthday. He

Page 6
didn't come back the next day. He wasn't there. Bunn or James McCoy wasn't there. [unknown] left there that third night and didn't never come back.
LARRY THOMAS:
He left and didn't come back?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Joe was a kind of scared brother. Joe always thought about some violence. He just didn't come back to the church until the funeral for Steve. Of all the people in the Wilmington Ten that I know of, Wayne Moore wasn't there that Saturday night, and I know that Reginald Eppes wasn't there. All the people that I know was at the church, at the Templeton house, that Saturday night was February sixth, the night of Mike's Grocery's burning, was Ben and Chili. We were all in the house …
LARRY THOMAS:
Y'all were not in the church?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
We were all in the house; nobody was in the church that Saturday night because they had put us out. [Pause] .
OTHER VOICES INTERMINGLED
KOJO NANTAMBU:
… that Friday night … people slept outdoors that night to keep an eye on the church. One of the most important things that need to be brought up—the cops were trying to sneak up on the church. We're up there protecting the church. Instead of calling us and telling us, "Well, look, we know you're having problems. We want to come check out things and assist you or whatever," they come trying to sneak up on us, trying to shoot at us from behind the church. We like to blow their brains out.

Page 7
LARRY THOMAS:
The police were trying to off you?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, seriously. We had the whole block divided, but contrary to popular belief that we had a whole lot of guns—I know we didn't have over fifteen pieces. But we just spread the brothers out …
LARRY THOMAS:
Were they students?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Everybody was a student or younger. The average age of the students there was eighteen or below. Most of them were like seventeen and below because of the time of the year.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was Ben in there?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Where? Ben stayed in the house. Ben didn't do no fighting, man. Ben came down and organized. He was in the house. You know, the main thing he did was encourage us to be careful, to protect ourselves, but he didn't try to initiate anybody into doing anything, or nothing like that. Now the main thing he was concerned with was that nobody get hurt, to be careful about what we did. He stayed in the house to protect the Templetons. He'd walk in the church every now and then to see that everybody was all right, but as far as being outside on the street or in the yard doing anything, he wasn't out there.
On Saturday it started off with this white man on the corner of Fifth and Nun Street sniping. Everybody moved on that block of the church, he sniped them, tried to shoot them. So they kept calling the detectives, the sheriff to check this house out on the corner. The police went up there several

Page 8
times and every time they went in, they came out. They said nobody didn't have no gun, and every time after they left, the white man kept on shooting. We just thought from that point on, "Well, the pigs are working with them. They ain't looking out for our interest. [unknown] too."
LARRY THOMAS:
What did you think about the barricades? Do you think that was a good move?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
It was a good move. If it hadn't been for the barricade, I'm quite sure that we'd have lost ten, twelve, or more brothers there at the church because white folks were coming through in caravans and in cars—carloads of people—up the street trying to turn, to come around the front of the church. They probably would have come to the front of the chruch and had a shoot-out with the brothers, but the barricades were there. They were concrete, those big five-feet conduits that the city has—the big ones. That's what we used as a blockade in the street—and some logs that we found. Like I was saying about that Saturday—the white man was shooting at us, and everybody was running and hiding and stuff like that. One of the members of the church came up there and told us to get out …
LARRY THOMAS:
Saturday?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Saturday, February sixth. By the name of Herb Butler. We told him, "Look, Mr. Herbert, we're not doing anything to the church. We're up here to protect the church." He said, "Damn it, let the white folks blow it up. We got

Page 9
insurance on it."
LARRY THOMAS:
What would cause him to say something like that?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
A stupid nigger, that's what.
LARRY THOMAS:
How old was the man?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Mr. Herbert was about fifty years old at that time, I imagine. At that time, he had been a good friend of my father's, but after that he wasn't no more.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was this Saturday morning, brother?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He was standing right around the corner from y'all, man. Herbert Butler. [Other voices indistinguishable]. At the same time he was asking us to leave, some white folks came by and shot at the house, the one facing Seventh Street.
LARRY THOMAS:
What you're telling me is that there was constant firing [unknown] Caucasians? Ever since when?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Ever since that Thursday night.
LARRY THOMAS:
Ever since they got situated in the church?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They started Thursday night, February fifth.
LARRY THOMAS:
What was Rose doing at this time?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Rose who?
LARRY THOMAS:
The police.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Nothing. They say they arrested some people that night—that's what the newspaper said. But I didn't see no evidence of it, and I don't remember no white folks going to jail.
LARRY THOMAS:
Y'all stayed in the church the whole while?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
The majority of the kids were in the church

Page 10
except the brethern who were outside pulling guard duty. We pulled guard duty in turn, in shifts. Those were the only people outside the church. People were sneaking back and forth every now and then and going home, you know, like a few kids. Everybody wanted to be there because of the boycott. That Friday night most of the people stayed in the church—Thursday night and Friday night.
LARRY THOMAS:
There was constant firing on the church?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yes, day-time and night-time. So the white men they fired at the church. We said that's why we're here, brother—to protect the church. And he said, "We don't need to be protected." So we left and went over to our headquarters, the BYBBC which I have spoken about before, on Eleventh Street by the old Community Hospital. At that time a lot of people had given up hope because being put out of the church… I'm trying to defend you and you done kicked me in the behind—what am I going to do? Like it killed a lot of brothers and sisters fear. So everybody went on home, I guess to get something to eat. At that time, Ben didn't have no where to stay because they didn't even want him to stay in the parish house. So I went to find a cot because at that time my wife and I only had a three-room apartment with one bedroom. I went to get a cot so he could stay with us that night. By the time I came back, the rest of the board of trustees had met at the church—in fact, my grandfather was one of the members of the board of trustees—and they decided to let the students back in. By

Page 11
that time, everybody had gone home, so they only had about twelve or thirteen students up there. When I got back, most of the students—we had about nine or ten people on the outside guarding the church, and everybody else was on the inside. They called everybody in to eat because a lot of them hadn't gone home. At that time, we heard a whole lot of children screaming, so we ran out the house, and here come all these little children running down the street screaming, "[unknown] white people, [unknown] white people." And I myself personally counted twenty-six cars and I don't know how many passed before we got out there. But we counted twenty-six carloads of white folks go up Sixth Street from Castle Street direction, go up Sixth Street towards Market. So that's when we put the guard back on. They were saying there was a whole lot of people out there that night, but we only had about nine guards that night. We had this brother named Jerome, and a fat boy on the corner of Seventh and Nun. We had brother Steve Mitchell and this brother named Mutt at the back of the church. Myself and this brother named Bill was on Sixth and Nun. And this brother named Richard McCoy was in the middle of the block. Myself and Bill was in the middle of the block and Richard McCoy was on the corner with binoculars. My brother was there, but I can't remember where he was—my brother, [unknown]. Also a brother named William Boykin was with me
LARRY THOMAS:
Robert [unknown] ?

Page 12
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Robert's [unknown]. At the time before I took a post on Sixth Street, me and William was walking … we took a post on the churchyard. We were the only ones on the churchyard—that's how I know there wasn't nothing but a few people there.
At that particular time, a green pick-up truck pulled up behind this yellow cab at the corner of Seventh and Nun. And at the time this Reverend Bond Vaughan, who was the pastor of Central Baptist Church, was talking to these brothers … and the crackers blasted him … shot him. And he was trying to talk them brothers into putting down their guns. And those crackers wore his ass out.
LARRY THOMAS:
Seriously?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, they shot him, shot him in the leg. Evidently they used bird-seed because, from my understanding, some of the pellets are still inside, in his leg. At that time, I thought, because the yellow cab was there, that he got into the cab and went to the hospital, but I read in the newspaper—somebody was doing a back [unknown] article—they say that he got in his own Volkswagen and drove himself to the hospital. When we saw this happen, Boykin and I fired on the vehicle because the brothers who he was talking to panicked; they started screaming and hollering and hiding behind the concrete because—they were fifteen years old, fourteen or fifteen, very young brothers. This is the type of people that we had up there guarding the church, young black men who still had a long future supposedly. I figured at that time that

Page 13
things were going to get a little bit heavier, so I told Boykin—at that time I used to call him [unknown] —to try to go find some more people. I said, "Man, look, we got to have some more brothers up here. It's getting too hot." So he took his father's station wagon and then went to find some more brothers, but they never got back because—he picked up one brother, and they got stopped on Castle Street, Ninth and Castle somewhere, by the police, and they were arrested for going armed during a state of emergency, or something like that. The police took them to jail. They were coming up there to help support the church. After that I don't even know who took the Seventh and Nun post, but I went over on Sixth Street at the there, and Steve then was still behind the church, and I was up there with Bill. Now Bill changed posts with me—I don't know where Bill went at—I took his position at Sixth Street. Richard McCoy was using the binoculars to watch for cars. I stayed up there until 9:15 because …
LARRY THOMAS:
Were you scared, brother?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
The only thing I was scared of was that I couldn't get the gun loaded fast enough to get off another shot if I had to shoot. If I shot, I didn't hit the first time, because the guns that we had—people tried to say that we had an arsenal up there, but we had a lot of old guns that the brothers had stole from their fathers out of the garage or something that was all taped up. Now a few brothers had two or three. 22s up there which were in better shape than

Page 14
the shot-guns we had up there. I wasn't worried about getting hurt or nothing like that because concealment was easy. It was easy to conceal yourself. After you got off the first round, could you get off another one before they shoot you— that was my basic concern. I had promised my wife that night that I wouldn't stay because I had stayed the night before. So about 9:15 I told my brother June-Bug that I was leaving. I gave him my post. I was going home with Lynn and the baby. The baby was about two or three months old then. I went on home. About 9:30, according to the report, that's when the thing happened at Mike's Grocery—you know, Mike's Grocery burned. Well, now …
LARRY THOMAS:
They'd been trying to burn that down the whole while?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Somebody had.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was there a specific purpose behind burning him out?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
I don't know whose purpose it was. I don't know who was trying to burn it down. Now somebody said that there'd been some cocktails the day before in front of Mike's that didn't go off. We don't know who put them there. Now I do know some brothers tried to blow the door off; they were going to go in there and take the food and use it for the students. [Laughter] . But as far as burning it down, none of us had made any attempts to go …
LARRY THOMAS:
Were they saying let's get Mike for a certain reason?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, people were talking about Mike was nasty, he treated little kids nasty. He used to get the little kids

Page 15
to talk nasty to the little kids in the neighborhood. But nobody had made a concerted effort as far as like burning the store down. The only thing we talked about in concert was going in there and taking the food out—taking the cracker's food and that would hurt him that way. When we found out about the cocktails, no one had any knowledge about who had thrown the cocktails up there before.
About 10 o'clock, between 10 and 10:30, June-Bug came out to the house and—it was 10 o'clock a news bulletin came over and said that this Gibbs Steve Corbett had been killed, and I said, "Damn, I just left there." I hadn't been gone over thirty minutes. According to the news, it was either between 9:30 and 10 o'clock or 10 o'clock and 10:30. Anyway, if the the news was correct, according to the report that they got from the police, this happened at 9:30, fifteen minutes after I left. They try to impress now that there was a whole lot of shooting and a whole lot of people there, but I know when I left there, I left seven people there. So it couldn't have been too damn much shooting. It was only to my understanding three rifles there and maybe one pistol.
LARRY THOMAS:
[missing]
KOJO NANTAMBU:
The brother who was with him—this is what my brother told me when he came—I didn't know who Gibbs Corbett was, but I knew Steve was Steve Mitchell. So my brother came home and said Steve had been killed. I said, "Steve who?" He

Page 16
said Steve Mitchell, and I said, "No, the news said Gibbs Corbett. Who was that?" He said, "No, it was Steve." I said, "Why you going to say that?" He said, "Well, Mutt told me." This was the brother that was behind the church with him. I said, "What happened?" He said, "Well, Steve …
LARRY THOMAS:
Your brother saw this?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, this friend of ours saw it, who was with Steve. Steve was behind the church on post with another brother, and the brother came back and told everybody, "Hey, man, they got Steve." After the fire started—people in the house didn't even know the fire started till that brother came back. What happened was—he said Steve saw that fire and he was going to pull the fire alarm. He gave his gun, said hold my gun till I get back. I don't know whether he got shot on the way or the pigs called him and threw down on him on the way back. The first time we talked about it, I think he said Steve was on his way back from pulling the fire alarm. Anyway the pigs shot him—they gave him three buckshots right up in here. And they say he fired a gun, but the gun didn't go off …
LARRY THOMAS:
Because he fired it then.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
[unknown] with a shot-gun. They produced some old shot-gun but the police probably got a whole lot of old guns down there. They could produce anything they wanted. The brother that was with Steve said Steve left his gun with him, but he's been scared to testify to that effect—they

Page 17
might get him. We haven't been able to convince this brother to testify to this day. This is how we know that Steve didn't have a gun.
LARRY THOMAS:
Did he die on the spot?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, this is the other thing. The news bulletin said he was shot around 9:30, according to the police report, and the hospital report said he arrived at the hospital around 10 o'clock. I don't know exactly now—it said 10 o'clock or 10:30. Anyway, it was a half hour difference between the time that they said they shot him and the time they say he got to the hospital, and it's only five or ten minutes—five minutes to a policeman—from Gregory Church to the hospital, ten minutes at the most. If they'd have got him there in that ten minutes time or fifteen minutes time, he probably would have lived because they'd have had an extra fifteen minutes for them to work on him. But now the brother who was with him said Steve was alive. The people in that immediate neighborhood was looking out their windows and they saw it, and they said that he was still kicking when the police got him. They say when they got him, they were dragging him down the street and beating on him.
LARRY THOMAS:
Thumping on him?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, when they threw him in the car, they said they were beating on him. They said you could see him kicking and wiggling trying to get loose, trying to get away from them. So that's why we claim murder. And naturally the

Page 18
cracker who was allegedly the slayer, Jackie Shaw, was released. He was vindicated from this.
LARRY THOMAS:
Is he still on the force?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, he's still on the force. He's in charge of the traffic division and has been for a long time. But the people would never come out and testify that they saw Steve alive, so that we could …
LARRY THOMAS:
They squashed their case?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah. [unknown] without us present. There's no need to go down there unless you've got some people that can verify the [unknown] that he was killed, murdered. The people who saw him …
LARRY THOMAS:
How did you feel after that junk?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
That was a real low blow. We knew then it was do or die, that they were serious, that they were out for blood—and that we'd better be out for blood.
The next morning it started off with a bang. [Laughter]. People started coming through the church with out-of-town tags on. A blue Camaro broke through the barricade.
LARRY THOMAS:
Broke through the barricade?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Full speed ahead. It knocked the barricade out of the way, pushed it out of the way, and came right on through. It was a blue Camaro that had a Jacksonville license plate on the front of it. Jacksonville's in North Carolina, but you know the white folks. They evidently got some white Marines to try to do something, but they didn't make it too far. [unknown] just blew the back of their car out. We were

Page 19
determined then that we weren't playing no more, man. Then this cat named Harvey Cumber came through there in a red truck and just pulled round the corner and parked his car and was politely getting out with a .45, some kind of …
LARRY THOMAS:
Sixth Street?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah. He decided he was going to shoot at the brothers.
LARRY THOMAS:
He parked it round on Sixth Street?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, he parked it round on Nun Street, right at the corner of Sixth and Nun. When he was getting out of the car with his gun, before he could get a round off, somebody shot him—one of the brothers shot him. After that, this is when they decided to call the curfew. Now they didn't call the curfew after Steve got killed, but they called the curfew that day. And the curfew was set for three o'clock. After that time, things kind of cooled down for a few days in terms of actual activities, direct confrontations and stuff like that—until Monday. But the next day the National Guard invaded the church. They didn't find nobody in there because after that night [unknown] decided to call for the National Guard. They were going to clean out the niggers. They say they went in there and found dynamite under the church, but I know better than that. They didn't find dynamite under the church. And then the dynamite they say they found was already crystallized. Anybody in their right mind in high school that ever had chemistry knows that crystallized dynamite was too dangerous …

Page 20
LARRY THOMAS:
What would you call this? Would you call it a rebellion?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, I've just got to consider it an insurrection because it wasn't as though we were really rebelling. We were just defending ourselves. I think insurrection is the best way to depict what happened because there wasn't any way that the black community nor black people really rebelled. Now white folks rebelled.
LARRY THOMAS:
In what sense?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They rebelled against our right to organize and demonstrate, to protest the things that we wanted.
LARRY THOMAS:
Weren't you in a sense rebelling against the establishment when you first started out?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
In the sense of rebellion, I would say that the rebellion was on a non-violent basis where the protest and the boycott took place. Now as far as the shooting and stuff like that, I would say that was more of an insurrection and rebellion on their part. We were just defending ourselves because we had made no effort to go out and say, "We ain't going to have this" and "We'll kill to get this done" because that's not what we were doing and that's really what a rebellion is all about. And they were rebelling against us, against our rights, to do what was done. We were just defending ourselves.
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 21
KOJO NANTAMBU:
That's why I wouldn't say that this was another rebellion. When there be a rebellion, there's going to be a whole lot worse than that there. [Laughter].
LARRY THOMAS:
Do you think it had any effect at all on the attitudes of black people in Wilmington?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, an effect on the total community. It had a demonstrable effect on the black community, especially in terms of political activity …
LARRY THOMAS:
Positive effect?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, man, negative effect. The effect was totally negative and purely psychological more so than physical, but naturally the psychological affects the physical because one is synonymous with the other. After that, we lost total support of the parish because …
LARRY THOMAS:
Do you think the elder population was with y'all, behind y'all?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They were behind us a hundred percent in the beginning, when the white folks started it; while the children were protesting, they were behind us one hundred percent. That was one time that I saw the community totally behind us. And they stayed behind us until that damn Golden Frinks came here. Up until that time, we were still organizing. We still were trying to get the students together. This is where we really got our church together. We were still having regular meetings at a few of the churches. Central Baptist was one of the churches that let us have them in. But all the other churches closed their doors, man.

Page 22
LARRY THOMAS:
When was this?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Between February and April, May, '71 … We still tried to get together and we had the parish with us then. We tried to get together and have some …
LARRY THOMAS:
After this had dropped off?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
We weren't going to let it die, man. We weren't going to let the movement die. We wanted things to stay active and we had a lot of the parish still with us. But we would never get a place to meet. Every time we tried to get a church, they closed the door. If we got a church, about the time we got there and got the meeting going, we'd get put out. Reverend Vaughan even put us out of his church. He'd got shot [unknown] because …
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] the cause. [Laughter].
KOJO NANTAMBU:
This incident happened at Molly's house. This brother named Eugene Wright was shot and at the time they lied—now when I say they, I'm talking about the brothers who did it. It was Donald Reddick, Don Nixon, and this brother named Jerome McClain
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] killed the brother?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They were in there gambling, man. [unknown] got shot [unknown]. This was at Molly's house. It was a very convenient time for them to say that a white man shot and they saw the white man running to a car …
LARRY THOMAS:
Don got time for that?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Hell, no. They tried to give Ben time for that. They let the brothers go. The brothers turned into

Page 23
informants, man. The brothers came to us that night—they was crying and carrying on, wanting to know what they was going to. We called Ben down here. Molly wasn't even there, and they [unknown] put Molly on probation… for nothing. They called and wanted to know what they could do, if we could get a lawyer and stuff like that. They had told F [unknown] their regular story but F [unknown] said we'd just wait and see what happened. Ain't nobody told them what to do. They even told the police that F [unknown] told them "Don't tell nobody. Keep it cool. Keep lying and say it was a white man"—which I don't believe because even that night people were skeptical about what had happened—really didn't believe it, you know, because we wouldn't even do nothing after that. We didn't do nothing behind it. What happened was that these cats went to jail later on that year for burglary and dope and stuff and right after that, they decided… The man told them "you can get out of this if you help us convict Ben Chavis."
LARRY THOMAS:
Was this the trial for the Wilmington Ten, too?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
This was something else. This was the Wilmington Three: Ben, Molly, Peanut, Molly's daughter. We even paid their bond and got them out of jail and stuff like that, so they decided later on that year that they were going to say that Ben had told them to lie, and that Molly [Laughter] to save their own skin… This was one of the very bad things to happen behind that.
After that when the funeral occurred …
LARRY THOMAS:
Tell me about the funeral. Was it beautiful?

Page 24
KOJO NANTAMBU:
It was big, man. But the brother's mother told us that she didn't want to have anything to do with us and didn't want nobody to have nothing to do with her.
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] mother? I'm talking about Steve.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Oh, that funeral was big. He stayed with his grandmother and grandfather. It was beautiful, man. We couldn't find a church to have the funeral in. Nobody wanted to hold it, even Gregory, the church we were standing up for. They wouldn't let them have it there.
LARRY THOMAS:
[missing]
KOJO NANTAMBU:
[unknown] said he wasn't a member. They couldn't hold it there. So we finally got Reverend Williams who was pastor of Holy Trinity Church on Fourth and Campbell. He was the one to open the doors and let them have the funeral there.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was he a young man?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
No, he was in his forties then.
LARRY THOMAS:
Wonder why he made that move?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
I guess he felt it was all right. She was reprimanded after that by her congregation, though. Anyway John's Funeral Home—we couldn't raise enough money—they donated the casket and carried out the funeral services without charging. All the brothers and sisters wore African garb. Reverend Leon White officiated at the eulogy and everything. It was heavy. It was beautiful.
LARRY THOMAS:
You had the liberation flag over the casket?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Definitely. The liberation flag was draped over the casket and then the liberation flag was marching

Page 25
behind him. They walked behind the casket from Gregory Church to across town.
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] police?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, the police were watching.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was it a peaceful march?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, it was peaceful. There were no incidents. [unknown] wasn't going to do nothing. We wouldn't let the reporters in. It was bad. The sermon—this brother named Bill Evans got a tape of the sermon. I don't know if he still got it, but he taped it. At the end of the services they played [unknown] by James Brown. You know, par for the times. It was beautiful, man, and it served a purpose.
You know, like I was saying about Eugene's killing, some group of niggers here asked Golden Frinks to come down here. Black folks are always trying to find a scapegoat. They don't want to deal with their physical confrontations. The Bible says you got to talk that man's language to deal with him the way he deals with you. The black community were together until Golden came—I'll get into this later—but Golden is the prime element in the arrest and conviction of the Wilmington Ten. There wouldn't have been no arrest if it hadn't been for Golden. When he came here, he split the community in half. We were dealing with the schools, we were dealing with solidarity of the community, the involvement of the people in the community, and we had some clear direction because schools are very primary if you think in terms of your children and your future. Their educational well-being, their

Page 26
psychological stability and well-being are primary. Now if they don't have the proper atmosphere and conditions and environment at school, then that's going to affect their ability to produce, the outcome, their foresight, their insight into what's going on in life, and all of that. So that was the key. So he came in and started saying that if they had a problem, it wasn't the schools. "We ain't going to deal with the schools. It's an economic problem. We got to boy-cott these people. We got to put some pressure on these white folks." He got away from the school issue. It became old hat. It was pushed back in the drawer.
LARRY THOMAS:
This was after the insurrection?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah. Golden came in and he divided the community. He started talking about us, about "them old gun-toting militants." Now this here was a black man—a colored boy, rather. "Now they're going to ruin me. We don't need them old gun-toting militants, running around here." He gave the old folks an out, a scapegoat. They didn't have to deal with that man directly. They could deal with that bull-shit when he started talking about what we need is an economic base, talking about building a poor people's co-op and everybody ran doing that.
LARRY THOMAS:
Split the movement?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, split the movement in half and then started talking about us as gun-toting militants, so we had people who were with us start talking against us. [unknown] who was one of the student leaders [unknown] because

Page 27
what they had done was that people who worked with them—they was paying them, man. They marched to Raleigh, they marched to Washington, and all the kids …
LARRY THOMAS:
In the name of who?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
SCSE.
LARRY THOMAS:
Who were they fighting for? Wilmington?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
That's what they said—the Wilmington movement. That's what they called themselves [Laughter]. All the kids would come back to our office, the BYBBC, and tell us what Golden was doing. They'd say, "Man, we spent that money. Golden give us thirty dollars for this, thirty dollars for that—give thirty dollars to each person that went to D. C." Golden gave them thirty dollars and this was money he was ripping off from the black community. People were giving them donations. They were going around canvassing the community every day with canisters. They were taking that money and pocketing it, man. The money from the poor people's co-op—nobody don't ever know what happened to that.
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] told me yesterday that he pocketed some coin.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, well, you know how that is. He was going with Wanda then and Wanda's mama was the [unknown] I think he was. And Wanda's mama was in charge of the poor people's co-op. She was the treasurer. Wanda Billings.
LARRY THOMAS:
Believe me, we definitely
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Anyway, that's what messed up the black

Page 28
community.
So at the same time, just before school closed, let me tell you what happened. This dummy, Allen Hall, went out to the school house—see, I didn't know him then. I might have met him by that time …
LARRY THOMAS:
He wasn't at the church with y'all?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He says he was, but—see, I didn't know him then. I didn't meet Allen until afterwards. We went to Raleigh one Saturday to the Justice Department, the Federal Building. The Department of Civil Rights had a hearing on all the activities going on in North Carolina. It was like a public tribunal with people participating and testifying to the conditions in the schools. That's the first time I saw Allen Hall to know him because he went with us. After that, Allen went out to Hanover one day—he had no damned business out there—and got in a fight with a white teacher, hit the teacher in the head with a bottle. So he took off to D. C. His brother named Tom—he's the one I told you about moved to D. C. and took Allen with him. Allen was up there, had a job. Golden was going to get on national television—you know how he did with Joanne Little—got on television down here and [unknown]. "I told that lady, ‘Don't let your son run. Tell him to come on back.’ I'll go and get him." And went up there and told him to serve his time.
LARRY THOMAS:
He went and got Allen Hall?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He went and got Allen Hall and told him to come back. So when they arrested Allen, they put him in jail

Page 29
and they were going to give Allen something like twelve years. He was going to tell the brother to come back, the brother went to jail, then he was going to tell the brother's mother "You ought to make Ben Chavis get him out. He's going around getting everybody else out of jail, you ought to make him get him out." His mamma came to us, man, and said, "I want to know what y'all are going to do about Allen." We say we ain't going to do nothing about Allen because we don't know nothing about Allen. Because, really and truly, Ben wasn't there. Ben didn't come back for a long time after that because the BYBBC was taking care of business then. She came around there to us, and I said, "I'm sorry. Allen went on his on. Allen did what he did. Nobody tell him to do what he did. We didn't tell him. We can't get no law for ourselves; we can't get no law for Allen Hall." So Golden put this shit in Allen's head. Golden started telling Allen stuff like, "Well, I wouldn't take that mess. You ought to make them get you out. You got in this trouble—they getting everybody else out of jail, you ought to make them get you out. He's abandoned you. See what they did to you."
LARRY THOMAS:
He was in jail for what?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
[unknown]. There wasn't nobody there but him. He was over there trespassing. We didn't send nobody to no schools to do nothing. He was just over there trespassing. He kept [unknown] "Ben and them don't care nothing about you." But he wasn't working with us.

Page 30
He hadn't never set foot in the BYBBC, our headquarters in there. After things happened, Ben started working directly with us because we were the only vanguard organization in the community. So that's how that got started. Allen tried to hang himself, started sending messages saying, "Tell Ben you got to get me out of here." We told him, "Hey, brother, we didn't put you in there." Golden even had some of our people arrested for something they didn't do, and wouldn't testify to get them out of jail. They took a truckload of children to the South Center and they went through the shopping center turning over racks of clothes, overturning shit—you know, vandalism. SCFC. I said Golden, didn't I?
LARRY THOMAS:
For what?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Just protesting. [OTHER VOICES INDISTINGUISHABLE IN BACKGROUND GIVING DETAILS]. They went through grocery stores filling up food in baskets and leaving the baskets, or turning them over. This is why we know that Golden was working with the city. They had a conspiracy to do away with the BYBBC.
LARRY THOMAS:
He had to be working with somebody, man. FBI …
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Of all that happened, the only people that was arrested was two people in our organization who weren't no where around. Because we were getting ready to have—I don't know whether it was a conference or a church meeting or what—but we were in our office all that day scrubbing and waxing. Hell, the next night, grandmamma came up to us and [unknown] came up to us, and arrested us, and [unknown] said, "What?" Arrested them. They said they were at the shopping center with

Page 31
Golden and those people. And them people positively identified them, man. And the sister was pregnant. Put on a thousand dollar bond. Just two people, now. The two people arrested wasn't even there and didn't even have nothing to do with it—was in our organization so they could put that in the paper. The thousand dollar bond we had to pay to get them out. We told Golden, "Look, man, y'all going to testify. Tell them people that they weren't down there." The sister they arrested was pregnant, man. And Golden stood right there —I started to beat him in the courtroom, see—this was when me and him split up, not split up, but this was when I just considered him a common revolutionary nigger that needed to be off. Right then what he did—the judge told the girl, "Well, I can see that you get an abortion." [unknown] two years in prison. I said, "You ain't going to see that she gets nothing." I said, "You ain't going to jail. Come on here, girl."
LARRY THOMAS:
Who said this, man?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Judge Burnett. I told you he's a racist dog, man. So the brother, he was one of my best organizers. They told him he'd have to leave town. They fixed it up to send him out of town to school …
LARRY THOMAS:
A restraining action?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Golden wouldn't testify. I grabbed and knocked his ass on one of them tables in the courtroom and they didn't even say nothing, because you know the judge wanted to see us fight anyhow. But I told him, "Man, I ought to kill you." My cousin was right along with him. George Kirby

Page 32
was the one driving the truck and he knows that they weren't on that truck, and he could have testified to who was there. Even if they couldn't have testified personally, they could have testified that they wasn't there.
LARRY THOMAS:
You're opening my head, brother.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
That was one of the main things that made us realize that there was a conspiracy. Then the federal court took out an injunction against us and said that nobody—just Algernon Butler issued the injunction—nowhere in New Hanover County could go anywhere near the schools during school hours or commit a statement concerning the schools. [Laughter]. Do you dig that—could make a statement concerning the school situation. Anybody known or unknown—that's how the injunction read—will be arrested in violation of this injunction and so forth. We found out the day we were in court that Golden had been threatening the crackers about letting loose some chickens at the [unknown] Festival [unknown]. The day we were in court one of our spies found out that Golden received ten or thirty thousand dollars from some white folks, not to let loose the chickens—which he wasn't going to do nohow. We found out that the man was on the take and stuff like that. All that injunction did—and that's why he did all that—was to handcuff us from doing stuff.
LARRY THOMAS:
Was he jealous of y'all basically, do you think?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He was sent here to create that dissension and diversion. The first week of school the ROWP was on the elementary

Page 33
school campus frightening young brothers and sisters, telling them, "Don't come back to school Monday." And do you know did they get arrested? They showed pictures of police right there watching them. They didn't arrest no damn body. But yet they were telling us if you go near the schools, they're going to arrest us. But anyway Golden was responsible for getting Ben and them arrested. And then Allen being so stupid, man, he's going to go ahead on and let them people blow his brains out. He let Golden brainwash him first, making him feel that Ben was responsible …
LARRY THOMAS:
How [unknown] pick specifically those Ten?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They showed their pictures. It was sixteen. That brother that was in here, he was one of them. They charged him and Ben with conspiracy to commit murder and murder of Harvey Cumber. Tom Atwood—we call him [unknown] now. They dropped the charges on him. All they wanted was Ben. After they got the Ten, they just dropped the charges …
LARRY THOMAS:
Why do you think they wanted Ben so bad?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
To cease his activities in North Carolina and around the country. You know how that is—shut up all the activists and the militants and put them in jail and that'll discourage all the other people from getting involved. And it has in Wilmington. Ain't nobody want to do nothing—they're scared of going to jail. But I don't give a damn. After Golden and them did that, he put all that stuff in Allen's head. It made Allen hate Ben, and Ben hadn't done nothing

Page 34
to Allen Hall.
LARRY THOMAS:
Were you one of the sixteen?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Naw, [unknown]. See, they looked at some pictures, and they didn't have no pictures of me. See, they had pictures of people who was in the march, right? Well, I was working over there so I wasn't in the march. So they went through the march and said that Allen picked out people that he knew. Then they circled them, or the pictures of the people they want. Now he said the pictures had Xs on them already. They asked Allen their names. They had Xs there, like we want this one. And to show you that they didn't know what they were dealing with, they arrested two Jerry Jacobs. Two of them. And the other one stayed in jail for two weeks before they realized which one they had, before they decided which one was the right Jerry Jacobs. That's when they come up with the statement about Scarface because they were saying that Jerry …
LARRY THOMAS:
[unknown] stayed in jail two weeks?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Both of them was in jail two weeks before they let the other one go, to decide that Jerry Jacobs …
LARRY THOMAS:
[missing]
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah.
LARRY THOMAS:
He seems like he's all right now.
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah, he's straight now, thank God. I hope he stays that way.
LARRY THOMAS:
He was talking right, too.

Page 35
KOJO NANTAMBU:
This is how we know. See, Allen didn't know Jerry. They just showed him the pictures and let him pick people and he picked people he knew. See, Allen didn't know me, at all, not [unknown] you. After he found out who I was—that I would kill him if he lied on me—somebody would anyhow, he even threatened us one time when we were marching around the courthouse. He was talking about, "Y'all going to get y'all's. We going to get you." I said, "Yeh, buddy."
LARRY THOMAS:
When was this?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
[unknown] looking out the window. The pigs, put him to the window and said like, "Yeah, look at down there." Like a fool, man. This was during the hearing. We laughed at him, man.
LARRY THOMAS:
Y'all were picketing the trial? Who were the other guys? You said there were sixteen?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
It was this brother named Michael Peterson. I told you about Tommy. They had George Kirby. There was a brother named Connell Flowers. And the other Jerry Jacobs I told you about. And then this brother named James Bunting.
LARRY THOMAS:
What happened to James Bunting?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
They dropped all the charges.
LARRY THOMAS:
There was insufficient evidence?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah. The charge that they got on all of them is insufficient, but they just narrowed it down to ten to deal with immediately.
LARRY THOMAS:
What do you think about that trial, that whole fiasco?

Page 36
KOJO NANTAMBU:
That's what I was going to say—that's what it was, a fiasco. A charade, man. That was the greatest miscarriage of justice I ever witnessed in my life or ever read about.
LARRY THOMAS:
Why?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Because of the fact that all the evidence was circumstantial. The only thing they had was pictures.
LARRY THOMAS:
What kind of pictures?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Pictures taken a year later. Like, "This is a picture of Sixth and Nun," this is a so-and-so, you know. Showing these pictures to Allen Hall and letting him describe something. Then they used a man who had been committed to a sanatorium three times … [unknown] an asylum
LARRY THOMAS:
Who?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Yeah. Allen Hall tried to kill himself three times before and during the trial. He was not a creditable witness at all because he was unstable. His whole character was unstable. Allen was—you've seen people that like out-grow their senses, you know, young, wild, and then he wasn't too bright in the first place. He was cunning, but he wasn't bright. The first trial—they went to trial, they picked their jury—it had ten blacks and two whites, even though they hadn't finalized the jury. Then the district attorney, the assistant D. A., [unknown] sickness. It was James Stroud, when he got sick. But everybody in the D. A.'s office is supposed to be capable of picking up where the other one left off—that's why they got a lot of assistants. If something happened to him, then the main D. A., Allen Kyle, should have been able

Page 37
to pick up the trial. The judge declared a mistrial. That was one of the complaints that Ferguson filed to the federal courts. And then at the next trial, they changed the method of choosing the jury. Ever how they listed the jury, they came up with ten whites and two blacks.
LARRY THOMAS:
Tell me about Stroud. What do you think …?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
Stroud was very arrogant, very ambitious, very racist—I'm trying to find another word for that cracker. He was just …
LARRY THOMAS:
Sick?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He was a sick cracker, man. He was very ambitious. He wanted to get a big job and wanted to make a name for himself. He thought he was the smartest cracker that came along. I don't know what kind of district attorney he thought he was, but he thought he was God's gift to the courtroom in his attitude, manner, everything he said, because me and him had a [unknown] where he tried to highlight me and make me say something, but I was always cool, and I had him looking like a damn fool in the court. He's a sick man. His main objective was to get Ben. See, he studied Ben's activities around North Carolina. I guess he felt if he could get Ben, that he would get some prestige in North Carolina. This evidence that he almost said—because he told his cousin, Dewey Wheeler, up there at the Amoco station on Sixteenth and Dawson—that's where brother Tommy used to work. When Ben and them went in, he told them to tell Tommy that he wouldn't have anything to worry about because he'd done already got

Page 38
Ben. Said he wouldn't have to worry about the other charges—they were just going ahead and drop the other charges. Those crackers, man, they're something else. [Laughter]
LARRY THOMAS:
They're sick, no question. It's
KOJO NANTAMBU:
But Stroud's vicious, he's shrewd. I don't think anything is beyond him. He's capable of doing anything. I wouldn't doubt him committing murder, man. And as far as all the hearings and the things that have happened since the Wilmington Ten have been in prison—the writs being filed, the other hearing they had last May 9th through whatever—the only thing that's happened is that it's reinforced my already understanding that white folks is going to support white folks, white folks is going to stand behind white folks whether what they're doing is right or wrong. To them, they're saying, "We're brothers, this is our country, this is our government, this is our law, we're going to uphold it to the end." And they've got to uphold it to the end because … It was so evident, man. Like last May, Judge Fountain was supposed to rule on whether or not it was enough sufficient evidence to warrant another trial; whether there was enough evidence to warrant a trial was all he was supposed to rule on—this cracker he tell Ferguson after the trial that in lieu of all the evidence, he didn't see where the brothers' constitutional rights had been abused. He can't rule on nobody's constitutional rights. That's a supreme court responsibility. He couldn't do that. That wasn't his function no way. It makes you question: do he know his function or was he avoiding his

Page 39
function? Then what's so obvious is that it was some [unknown] lady from Asheville—she got up there and told that S came and got her daughter and her, flew them to North Carolina, put them in a hotel, so Allen Hall could be with her daughter while he was a prisoner. You don't know of them doing no prisoners like that, man. Plus they took Allen up there. And she explained that Allen and the girl were supposed to get married—because Allen was under a lot of pressure and they needed her to calm him down. And also she testified that S called her and tried to talk to her so she wouldn't be so hard against Allen. And do you know, that judge still—that in itself is enough to let anybody know that the cracker was doing some thing wrong.
LARRY THOMAS:
What was this judge doing when people was telling him all this?
KOJO NANTAMBU:
He was ignoring it. He wasn't paying no attention. He was just sitting up there like this, thinking, "Well, I'll be glad when this shit is over." That's the expression that he had on his face. He couldn't have been listening because all that stuff that he heard, he couldn't have took it in. He made his decision the next morning. It was early the next morning or the same day. The next morning, the first thing the next morning. First he had told the press that it might be a couple of weeks. He had to cogitate over all this stuff, you know. And he came back the next morning and made his decision. I mean, immediately, and this man had heard two weeks of intense examination of evidence, man, all kinds of evidence,

Page 40
and everything that he had heard was new. The three brothers came in there and told him that the crackers had made deals with them and told them to lie. The brothers told him that the man offered them a bike. The people said that he got the bike, and the man admitted that he gave them the bike. Jerome Mitchell admitted that he had a heavy crime over his head, and that the man made a deal with him, and he testified that he didn't even know Ben then, he didn't know nothing about them, that they told him what to say—he read a trial transcript. Do you see what I'm saying? They even had copies of the old trial transcript. Ferguson, to show the judge, with the man, and wrote it out. Stroud [unknown]. And then Allen Hall got on the telephone, called Stroud, and told Stroud that he lied, that [unknown] under him, and then he got on the telephone and called Ferguson—
END OF INTERVIEW