City leaders unveil sign recognizing the 'Wilmington Ten'

Published: Nov. 17, 2016 at 11:36 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2016 at 7:43 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It's been nearly 40 years since the battle over school desegregation erupted in Wilmington. There's a new sign in town that recognizes a group of people who fought in the battle.

A city marker commemorating the Wilmington Ten now stands outside the Gregory Congregational United Church of Christ on Nun Street near South Sixth Street.

The Wilmington Ten were imprisoned in the early seventies, charged with firebombing a local grocery store during protests surrounding school desegregation.

Their imprisonment gained national attention, their sentences were reduced after ten years in prison and they were pardoned in 2012. Members of the Wilmington Ten were on hand to see the sign recognizing their part in history.

City councilman Earl Sheridan said a few of his classmates were part of the Wilmington Ten and he remembers the events that transpired. It's part of the reason why he brought the resolution for this sign to the council. Councilman Sheridan has high hopes for what this sign can do for the city.

"I hope it provides a sense of healing there's still a lot of raw feeling stemming back from that time. I hope it provides a sense of education, letting people know more about this community," said Sheridan. "Not only the good part but the difficult parts as well."

Sheridan said the city should have more memorials remembering the city's illustrious history. He's confident the public will notice the value of this sign and it will fuel their determination to see more come up in the future.

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