Citation

"The Wilmington Ten: A Case of Officially-Sanctioned Violence and Corruption in the Criminal Justice System"

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Abstract:

The case of the Wilmington Ten is rooted in the response of both blacks and whites in the city to the dismantling of the Jim Crow social order. In 1968, Wilmington, North Carolina, began to desegregate the public schools by shutting down the all-black Williston High School and transferring students to previously all-white schools. African Americans were excluded from the decision-making process. Black students encountered intense hostility from white students, teachers, and administrators. Interracial fights erupted regularly, and the police arrested black students while allowing whites to escape with impunity.

In 1970, African American high school students, some of them civil rights veterans, proposed the initiation of a black studies program, an official observance of Dr. King’s birthday, and the inclusion of blacks in extracurricular activities on the basis of equality. In January 1971 the school board refused to meet these demands, and black students organized a school boycott. Local officials threatened students with suspension and expulsion. With the knowledge and blessing of the police, the paramilitary Rights of White People organization staged drive-by shootings of the church that functioned as the boycott headquarters. Only after an armed white man, who was preparing to fire on the church, was shot and killed did law enforcement act to end the volatile situation. Only people involved in the boycott were arrested. In particular, nine black males and one white female, were charged with arson and conspiracy, tried, and convicted in 1972, and sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. Their convictions were secured by perjured testimony and prosecutorial misconduct. A strong political movement to free the Wilmington Ten developed in North Carolina and across the nation, resulting in a 1980 federal appeals court overturning their convictions.
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Association:
Name: 94th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377289_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Janken, Kenneth. ""The Wilmington Ten: A Case of Officially-Sanctioned Violence and Corruption in the Criminal Justice System"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 94th Annual Convention, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio, <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377289_index.html>

APA Citation:

Janken, K. R. ""The Wilmington Ten: A Case of Officially-Sanctioned Violence and Corruption in the Criminal Justice System"" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 94th Annual Convention, Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, Cincinnati, Ohio <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p377289_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: The case of the Wilmington Ten is rooted in the response of both blacks and whites in the city to the dismantling of the Jim Crow social order. In 1968, Wilmington, North Carolina, began to desegregate the public schools by shutting down the all-black Williston High School and transferring students to previously all-white schools. African Americans were excluded from the decision-making process. Black students encountered intense hostility from white students, teachers, and administrators. Interracial fights erupted regularly, and the police arrested black students while allowing whites to escape with impunity.

In 1970, African American high school students, some of them civil rights veterans, proposed the initiation of a black studies program, an official observance of Dr. King’s birthday, and the inclusion of blacks in extracurricular activities on the basis of equality. In January 1971 the school board refused to meet these demands, and black students organized a school boycott. Local officials threatened students with suspension and expulsion. With the knowledge and blessing of the police, the paramilitary Rights of White People organization staged drive-by shootings of the church that functioned as the boycott headquarters. Only after an armed white man, who was preparing to fire on the church, was shot and killed did law enforcement act to end the volatile situation. Only people involved in the boycott were arrested. In particular, nine black males and one white female, were charged with arson and conspiracy, tried, and convicted in 1972, and sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. Their convictions were secured by perjured testimony and prosecutorial misconduct. A strong political movement to free the Wilmington Ten developed in North Carolina and across the nation, resulting in a 1980 federal appeals court overturning their convictions.


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