WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - In the March issue of Our State, the magazine takes a closer look at the history of the Wilmington 10.
The Wilmington 10, made up of nine men and one woman, were wrongfully convicted in 1971 of arson and conspiracy during a civil rights protest. Most of the members of the group were sentenced to 29 years in prison. All served nearly a decade in jail before an appeal won their release.
In 2012, former Gov. Bev Purdue issued a pardon of innocence for the group.
“We’ve been exploring North Carolina history decade by decade and we started in the 1940s went to the 50s and 60s,” explained Jeremy Markovich, the publication’s digital manager, strategist and writer. As the magazine turned its attention to the 70s, the decision was made to feature the Wilmington 10.
UNCW creative writing professor Philip Gerard wrote the piece for the magazine.
“The way Philip writes it, it puts you back in the moment to experience what is happening at the time,” said Markovich. “He really takes a great look at history. In the 1970s, this all started with a request from a bunch of high school students to have a moment of silence for Dr. Martin Luther King. That request was denied; then, those students ended up being expelled. There were protests and an uprising and 10 people were arrested and put in jail. This chronicles that moment in time and explains the legacy of what happened then and you can look back today through new eyes and see how it looks for today’s eyes.”
To see more of what’s in this month’s Our State, click here.