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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.

Comment on this Story

  • 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.

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