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Maker: Organización de Solidaridad de los Pueblos de Africa, Asia y América Latina (OSPAAAL); Rolando Cordoba; Kampos
Date Made: 1979
Place Made: Cuba: Havana
Measurements: 79 cm x 45.5 cm; 31 1/8 in x 17 15/16 in
Main Subject: African Americans; Political Prisoners
Materials: paper (fiber product)
Freedom Now! For The Wilmington 10 Para Los 10 De Wilmington Pour Les 10 De Wilmington [Arabic text] U.S.A. Human Rights Freedom In America Government Of The United States Of America Civil Rights in U.S.A. 90 American Express OSPAAAL Diseño: Rolando Cordoba Foto Kampos
Acquisition Number: 1996-132
Copyright status unknown; may be protected by copyright law.
WILMINGTON 10 In 1971, student protests occurred when a school desegregation order closed a predominantly black high school in Wilmington, North Carolina, and required the students to attend a suburban and predominantly white high school. A group of African-American students staged a sit-in to object to the failure of both the school and the city to recognize and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. In the ensuing protest, high school classes were disrupted and the student demonstrators suspended. Protests and demonstrations became more frequent and violent in the weeks following, leading to a full-scale rebellion of African-American students and their supporters in February. As racial tensions escalated, several nights of violence erupted in the mostly minority neighborhoods within the city. The activists and organizers, including Rev. Benjamin Chavis, were arrested, tried and convicted of charges related to the unrest. The Wilmington Ten, as they soon became known, were given lengthy prison sentences. Supporters worldwide decried their imprisonment, including Amnesty International, which cited the imprisonment as a human rights violation. A federal investigation eventually revealed that a key witness for the prosecution had been bribed. The conviction of the Wilmington Ten was finally overturned in December 1980 when the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled that the right to a fair trial had been denied.