WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s Bellamy Mansion Museum is hosting a lecture Thursday on the Wilmington Ten. It will feature Historian Dr. Kenneth Janken of UNC-Chapel Hill who has written a book about the notorious time in Wilmington’s history.
In February of 1971 Wilmington was besieged by violence surrounding school desegregation. There were four days of skirmishes between white vigilantes and black residents. The turmoil resulted in multiple people injured and two dead. There was also more than half a million dollars in damages to property, before the National Guard stepped in.
Despite irregularities in the subsequent trial, 10 people were convicted of arson and conspiracy and sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. They became known around the world as the Wilmington Ten. A powerful movement arose demanding their freedom. The convictions were overturned in 1980.
North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue finally pardoned the surviving members of the group in 2012.
The lecture by Dr. Janken is to tell the story and connect it to the transformation of post-Civil Rights era political organizing.
The lecture is Thursday, October 4 at 6:30 and is free to the public. For more information click here.