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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Frinks mishandled money and manpower

Earlier in the interview, Nantambu had asserted that Golden Frinks had fractured the solidarity of the black community. Here, he provides greater details, accusing Frinks of mishandling of funds and manpower.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

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 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. who was one of the student leaders because 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:
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 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 community.