December 19, 2012
The Wilmington 10 are a group of civil rights activists who were indicted, tried and convicted of the firebombing and violence during the Wilmington Riots of 1971. After serving time in prison, the federal court decided that the Wilmington 10 had been the victims of prosecutorial misconduct and threw out their convictions. Today, the remaining members of the Wilmington 10 have petitioned Governor Beverly Perdue of North Carolina to grant them a pardon of innocence. As an observer of the case and a long-standing friend of Dr. Benjamin Chavis, who became known as the leader of the Wilmington 10 prior to his ascension to the top of the Civil Rights Movement, I wrote the following letter to Governor Perdue in hopes of assisting her formulate her decision on this tragic case of racial injustice, then I hand-delivered it to her office on East Jones Street on Monday.