Tag Archives: Wilmington Ten

This THURSDAY (2/24): “Race and Place Identities among Oklahoma’s ‘All Black Towns’ in the 21st Century”

This Thursday (2/24), UNC professor Karla Slocum (anthropology & Afro-American studies) will present a lecture on her ongoing research with residents of black towns in Oklahoma as part of the Spring 2011 Colloquium Series sponsored by the Department of African & Afro-American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill.


“Race and Place Identities among Oklahoma’s ‘All Black Towns’ in the 21st Century”, a lecture by Karla Slocum
Thursday, February 24
12-1 pm
Global Education Center (GEC) Room 4003

If you’re interested in more events like these, stay tuned!  The colloqium series continues in March with a lecture by Kenneth Janken, professor of Afro-American Studies at UNC-CH. entitled “The Several Faces of Black Power in Eastern North Carolina: The Case of the Wilmington Ten.” Professor Janken’s research focuses on 20th century African American history and he is currently working on a research project on the Wilmington Ten.  This talk will take place on Thursday, March 17 from 4-5pm in the Global Education Center (room TBA).

Hope to see you there!

A brief history of the “Wilmington Ten”

On Wednesday, we posted an upcoming event commemorating the Wilmington Ten.  But just who were the Wilmington Ten?

On February 6, 1971 racial tensions in downtown Wilmington, NC came to a head when several local businesses were set on fire.  Firemen responding to the call then came under attack, as shots were fired from the roof of the Gregory Congregational Church, which housed several students and protesters.  There were two deaths and several injuries over the next couple of days.  Based on evidence that was later called to question in court, ten individuals were convicted and sentenced: Benjamin Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin “Chili” Patrick, Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James “Bun” McKoy, Willie Earl Vereen, William “Joe” Wright, Jr, and Ann Shepard.

Coming to be known as the “Wilmington Ten,” their situation garnered international attention when Amnesty International took up their case 1976, believing them to be persecuted for their beliefs rather than proven ties to the events of February 1971.  Eventually, the conviction was overturned in 1980 and Benjamin Chavis, who at the time of his arrest was a minister and community organizer, went on to hold various positions of leadership within the African American civil rights community.  On Tuesday (6:30pm in the Stone Center Auditorium), Dr. Chavis will offer reflections on the lessons of the Wilmington Ten as part of a commemorative program hosted by UNC’s Institute of African American Research.

For more details on the history of the Wilmington Ten, check out this UNC Libraries blog post.  Interested in learning more about keynote speaker Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr?  Come browse our reference collection!  For example, the items below contain biographical sketches of his life and career:

Or if you’re looking for online resources, check out this biography published by The History Makers.  In addition, Dr. Chavis maintains a website, where he has posted an autobiography and you can find him on facebook.

Happy reading!

EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Commemorating the Wilmington 10, February 2nd at 6:30pm, Stone Center Auditorium

February marks the 40th anniversary of the events that led to the case of the Wilmington 10.  In commemoration, UNC’s Institute of African American Research is sponsoring a program next week featuring several members of the Wilmington 10, including a keynote address by Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr.



Feb 2, 2011

6:30 pm

UNC Stone Center Auditorium


Wilmington 10 Program

Hope to see you there!