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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Rev. William Barber, president of the NC State Conference of the NAACP, will be the keynote speaker during the first Faith Community Rally in Support of Pardons of Innocence for The Wilmington 10 tomorrow. The rally is scheduled for 7 p.m. at St. Stephen’s AME Church at 501 Red Cross Street in Wilmington.

The Faith Community Rally, which will also feature members of the Wilmington Ten, is cosponsored by the Wilmington 10 Pardons of Innocence Project Local Advisory Committee and the New Hanover County NAACP, in association with the national Wilmington 10 Pardons of Innocence Project. It is the latest in a long series of planned events to build local and national support to secure individual pardons of innocence for the Wilmington 10 this year.

The Wilmington 10 were a group of youths sent to prison in the 1970s after a grocery store burned during a 1971 race riot. The seven survivors and relatives of three dead members filed petitions for pardons last month with Gov. Bev Perdue’s office.

Wilmington 10 leader Benjamin Chavis and nine others were freed when a federal appeals court overturned their convictions in 1980. Chavis later became executive director of the NAACP. He says North Carolina’s politics and history 40 years after their convictions make this the right time to seek pardons.

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  • R.B. Pender

    Daniel Joye was married to my Grandmothers sister. He just finished supper and went out on the pourch to read the paper. He was shot by an African-American man with a rifle. The bullet went through his elbow, chest, the front of the house, a wall between the palor and kitchen. The bullet stopped in the cubbard, after smashing up the china. The bullet just missed my Aunts head as she was washing dishes. Many people where on their pourches, yet most folks didn’t see anything. He went to jail for almost twenty years. He got out before Christmas. He sent my Aunt a Christnas card saying Merry Christmas to her!!! Annoucing that he was getting out of prison. He showed up to her store buying a six pack of beer the same day he got out of prison.

  • tweety12

    Tom,there are pardons in the U.S.every year.What race card are you talking about.When you have nothing to say???????????? lets throw out anything.I am glad you said might Tom because, we don’t know.

  • SurfCityTom

    but at least for once, it will be about a topic other than the downtown, river front albatross.

    Question 1: did they do the crime?

    Question 2: were lives lost or injured as a result of their actions?

    Question 3: if property was damaged, did they make restitution?

    Question 4: why is race an issue here? Would whites be extended the same pardons under the same circumstances?

    When all else fails, throw out the race card.

    Question 5: why not come into the present and focus on the issues of today? Why not get into the neighborhoods which are creating all of these thugs and thug wannabes? Get in their faces or the faces of their parents & force them to change their lifestyles while they still have the chance?

    Even Bill Cosby might have a negative response on this topic.

  • tweety12

    guest857,no they didn’t.One or two maybe,besides you can not compare that area then to the area now totally different.If you speak it, get it right.

  • Guest857

    Funny, the Wilmington 10 came from the same hood that produced the maggots that killed a hard working food delivery man; Ate the food he delivered; Returned to rob him. We need to get rid of scum in our good city!

  • Guestsnc

    I try to pray for all people. As a black mother I particularly pray for my sons, given the negative slant toward black males in this society. We have come a long way in the U.S. since the Wilmington Ten but we still have a very long way to go. I love my boys, but don’t want them to stay in Wilmington. This town is in many ways hostile to black males IRREGARDLESS of their personal behavior. And yet, I still am hopeful; there are many whites who do not see blacks as “thugs”. I see many responsible, strong black men in my church and where I work. There is still opportunity to make things better and so many people in Wilmington of all races are trying to do just that.

  • Guest757

    They were ALL thugs!!!!! and should NOT get a pardon… There is a difference in being innocence and getting off on a technicality !!

    Maybe the Rev. should be talking to the family of the man that was gunned down by ANIMALS !!!! If he wants to do something good, do that…

  • Tully Hill

    If pardoned they will also recieve 250,000. dollars each. I think they did enough damaage and I should not have to pay for their prosperity. They did the crime.

  • Home Town

    My husband was busy during the riots replacing store windows that were busted out, it’s a wonder he didn’t get killed. Mr. Joye, of Joye’s Grocery on Castle street, was shot and killed just after Mr. Joye closed his store for the evening. He and his wife lived next door to the store and he died in their front yard. Mr. Cumber rented apt’s. downtown and during the riots he was called by a tenant or a tenant’s friend to let Mr. Cumber know the furnace wasn’t working. Mr. Cumber went to that apt. and was gunned down. I lived on Wooster street just when tension was building, and happened to look out my front door and saw three young blacks with boards going for my elderly neighbor,she had her back turned and didn’t see them until I yelled, the young blacks started running as I chased them away. I don’t know if anyone was convicted of killing Mr. Joye or Mr. Cumber, but it seems to me if Ben Chavis and the rest of the Wilmington 10 had not instigated the riots, them Mrs. Joye and Mrs. Cumber would not have had to bury their husbands.

  • Charles Walters

    The Wilmington 10 should have been shot on site when they threw fire bombs and shot at police and fire department personal. I remember it all to well with the National Guard partoling the streets and all the blacks destroying everything in sight, including Mikes Grocery. They destroy their own property and expect everyone to give them money to rebulid. The city should have condemned their property and taken it, and shoved this scum in the gutter where they belong.

  • Guest54654

    “I do hope the NAACP’s leader will have the courage to address the brutal murder of Zhen Bo Liu, who was shot dead in his car by two of six young black men, who took the food, sat down and ate it, and then returned to the car with Mr. Lius body slumped over the wheel and proceeded to rob him.”

    You must be joking…because in 40 years the NAACP will be trying to get a pardon for the Wilmington 6, who they will say were unfairly tried and convicted for murdering Zhen Bo Liu. *rolleyes*

    I, too, want to hear from the police officers and firefighters that were shot at that night. I’ve read and read and read about the stupid “Wilmington Ten”. I’ve never heard the first words from the real victims.

  • Guest2020

    They got off on a technicality. They don’t deserve a pardon.

  • WilmingtonNCNative

    I was born here, and raised here. I was in high school when Chavis and his band of thugs shot at police officers and fire department personnel, or tried to throw molotov cocktails onto the fire trucks. We can talk pardon after the surviving members of the Wilmington 10 apologize to the Wilmington Police Department and the Wilmington Fire Department, for their part in the violence that occurred in Wilmington in 1971.

  • tweety12

    Fleetghost, it was a scary time for the city of Wilmington.The person or person that committed those murders they may not have answer to the law for the crimes.One day they will and for as we know they could have meant the same fate as the was they killed.

  • Old Man

    I was here. They are thugs. They deserve no pardon.

  • Grand Ole Party

    Were you there Tweety? Or are you just assuming they are innocent because they are black like you? You were not there and we all know it, so how is it okay for you to make assumptions but not for anyone else?

  • tweety12

    Grand Ole,like i stated before born and raised here in Wilmington.Lived two blocks from the church used as a meeting place.
    Was watching the news when the Wilmington Journal was bombed.And i had to go by H.M.park and see the cross burning.So hypocrite not even.After school use to go to Mikes grocery to buy cand or to Capps corner store up the street.Hypocrite try again Grand.

  • tweety12

    wellhere well did you know at that time the
    WPD were very racist ,The people of Wilmington
    still had the mindset of the old rebel flag
    south cross burnings In H.M park you remember
    maybe you were their .Since you were here why
    Did all of this start

  • While I appreciate the fact that some of the people of Wilmington have finally taken off their hoods and let their faces be known even after all these years. I will still pray for you and hope that you will come to know God and accept him in your hearts so that he will open your minds. Hopefully you have not taught this same hatred to your children or grandchildren. You do know about sins of a father? If not recheck the Bible.

  • FleetGhost

    Ask and you will receive. I was in the middle of the violence that occurred when these men came to town. I feared for my life, as did many people. Worse than that, no one has ever been brought to justice for the deaths of an unarmed man shot to death driving through downtown, and two unarmed Pinkerton guards shot dead inside Williston School. If it comes to pass that no one is thought guilty of anything in the eyes of the living, then “vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord”.

  • Guestknows

    It started due to a Federal Court in Charlotte that ordered cross-town busing to achieve integration of the public schools. Also the Supreme Court upheld the decision in Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Instead of easing the population into desegregation, the State Government forced it. Blacks didn’t want to go to New Hanover and whites didn’t want blacks there. It wasn’t the fault of either race…it was because the issue was forced.

    Yes, desegregation is a good thing. Forced busing, forced desegregation is bad for everyone. The blame should be placed where the problem originated…the Government!

  • Guest03561

    The sad thing is that organizations such as this even exist. It’s just proof that racism is still around. It’s just skin people. We all have to live here. Violence and hatred are counterproductive. Especially when it’s over something so trivial.

  • SusanK6461

    And the perpetuation of the stereotyping perpetuates the failures: there are a lot of comments suggesting that just because a person is black that they must be a thug. You get what you expect. And of course, who’s going to hire someone they’ve predetermined a thug? WAKE UP!!!

  • Guest6969696969

    Rev. William Barber, with all due respect, being a executive director of the NAACP… Instead of, asking for “Pardon’s” for yourself. Why NOT be giving a *Keynote address*, about self-inflicted ILLS that the Black community bring upon themselves, such as the Fine up-standing crew of young Black Men, (THUGS) that have been violent against OUR Community here of late?
    Do a Key note address to the Black Community that Educate’s against committing the violence/crime & drugs, un-willing to Help (them-selves) & the Community as a Whole instead of Preventing & Educating the Black Community?
    Key-note address would be better served rallying the Black community to Clean-up thier Act? Get a education? Get off welfare and Sect 8?
    Getting a Job?
    I am of a opinion that your “Key-Note Address* would go +100 times more receptive to the Communtiy as a Whole in solving Problems with-in Our Community instead of “GIMMIE”, Or stirring the Racial Pot…..

  • Guestishly

    Unfortunately Guest69696969696… it isnt about the ACP or the Advancement of Colored People that they are interested in, it is how they make their money anymore. Promoting Racism. If there isnt a seeming rift in communities that they continue to bring up, then they are out of a job, so they continue to promote and talk about how “the white man holds them down” and so on. If they would stop promoting this, then a culture shift would have to occur. If you keep on telling “your people” that they are treated wrong, they will blindly follow, keep on believing it, and pass on to future generations, the direct result is self oppression.

    NAACP = the biggest racist organization alive. We don’t have ANY USES for ANY racist organizations.

  • Das Weibstück

    Instead of worrying about the Wilm 10 who are old and past thugs, he needs to worry about the young thugs who are raging war against the innocent citizens of Wilmington right NOW !

  • Guestishly


    Sometimes I agree with you on things while other times I don’t. I will say it this time out loud though… YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD WITH THAT ONE!!!!!!!!!

    I whole heartedly agree that the past is behind us and the only way to fix the almost certainly broken future is the change the present.


    I do hope the NAACP’s leader will have the courage to address the brutal murder of Zhen Bo Liu, who was shot dead in his car by two of six young black men, who took the food, sat down and ate it, and then returned to the car with Mr. Lius body slumped over the wheel and proceeded to rob him.

    This sensational crime of horrific moral depravity must be addressed by black leaders. Young black males commit far more violent crimes than any other racial or ethinic group.

    The NAACP complains about racial profiling. But it’s cases like this that are the cause of the profiling of young black males.

    Mayor Saffo should address this crime publically by offering condolences to Mr. Lius family. Young black male crime against Asians is on the rise in major cities, such as Oakland, San Francisco, and NYC.

    Wilmington’s Chinese community is waiting for the mayor to address this heinous crime–a crime so BARBARIC, it staggers the imagination.

    And . . . it’s quite possible this was a hate crime committed by young black males against the Asian community.

    Where’s the outrage from the black community? When their own commit violent crimes, their lips remain closed.

    Mr. Liu’s family and all who knew him here in Wilmington are devastated by his sensless death. His murder, considering the repugnant, ANIMALISTIC behaviour of the young men after his murder, has to be one of Wilmington’s most heinous crimes!


  • Ren Loved Zhen

    Though I understand where you come from, and research does support some of your claims, do not think for one second the Black community of Wilmington is not fighting for Zhen. I am African American, and have been a longtime friend of Lui’s family, and a former business partner with his boss. Many African Americans such as myself are appalled by this horrific crime. But, we cannot be blamed for the lack of acknowledgment of it from notable Black groups and organizations. Furthermore, the NAACP does not speak for as an individual, nor does it represent all people of color. We must get away from the issue of race. Did I lash out at people like you or your ethnic community to speak out when Suright Zhang Balk shot an old White woman for fun? No i didn’t. We must unify as PEOPLE, and always remember that groups like the New Black Panthers, the NAACP, or even the Klu Klux Klan are not the voices of their ethnic communities. I am confident Zhen’s killers will pay..whether they are Black, Asian, or White.


    Ehang Mai, I offer my sincere condolences to the Liu family, friends, coworkers and patrons. Mr. Liu will truly be missed and remembered by his customers. I am so sorry.

    I truly hope and pray that this mentality that is facing the City of Wilmington is addressed by Mayor Saffo and the City Council as well as the NAACP.

    Rest in Peace Mr. Liu.

  • Time does not change the fact that these were violent individuals. Why should they be pardoned?

  • tweety12

    guest 6858 do you know any of these young men and the one lady?were you there when all of this happen or you are going on assumptios are something you read.

  • Citizen of the Republic

    Still waiting for his public apology to the Duke Lacrosse players.

  • Old Man

    I don’t think that if a person is black they must be a thug, but I do believe that, in most cases, if a person is a thug, they are black. There is a difference.

  • Grand Ole Party

    Susan please point out “a lot of comments” that suggest that blacks are thugs….People have said that the black CRIMINALS are thugs, not because they are black but because they are criminal thugs. You’re a liar and a fool. WAKE UP!!!

  • Guestwho

    Yea It’s like the comedian David Cross says…..”not all gay guys talk like gay guys but ONLY gay guys talk like gay guys” I’m kidding here, but I do agree with your point.

    And this issue is not so much “racial” as it is cultural. True racism is to believe that some racial genetic factor makes one human superior or inferior to another. That’s not what’s going on here. It’s that the african american culture that is broken. Growing up white in the inner city brought me very close to this culture and though I had many black friends I was still forced to fight and/ or run like hell on many occasions, and in those ocassions it was always groups guys, never just one, that’s the gang mentality.

    The fact is poverty breeds crime. This type of violence happens all over the world by many differant races of people. In America, the problem is that we incentivise poverty by allowing the abuse of our welfare systems. We were poor as all hell growing up, and on welfare but NOT PERMANENTLY, we used it to survive until we could claw our way into better circumstances via hard damn work. My brother and I finished college, hell he has a Masters degree. The African american culture started in poverty, it had no choice but to do so. but it remains in poverty because our social welfare system has allowed allowed a culture to use it as a pinnacle of there lifestyle, never intending to or taking the personal responsability to actually EARN a living. This is not intent of the system. If we don’t stop the abuse of the welfare system the African American culture may never shake the chains of poverty and this of course means the violence will continue.

  • B OBrien

    Why should we not expect to hear outcomes from the black community? You claim such close ties to the family yet cannot even spell their name right. Got news for you too…YOU ARE AMERICAN! Not African American. Had it been a group of whites that murdered a black delivery driver there would be marches and riots all over the area. The black community needs to start taking responsibility for their families and lives. I am not your problem anymore…YOU ARE YOUR PROBLEM! The NAACP is nothing more than a band of thugs.


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