|Ben Chavis to speak about Wilmington Ten|
|Thursday, January 27, 2011|
“The Legacy of the Wilmington Ten: 40 Years Later” will be the title of a talk by civil rights leader Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. Wednesday (Feb. 2) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The free public program, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at 150 South Road, also will feature remarks by Wilmington Ten members Connie Tindall and Willie Earl Vereen.
Kenneth R. Janken, Ph.D., a UNC professor of Arican and Afro-American studies, and Larry Reni Thomas, who wrote “The True Story Behind the Wilmington Ten,” also will speak. UNC music professor and soprano Louise Toppin will perform.
Chavis led 10 civil rights activists who were accused of arson and conspiracy to fire on firefighters and law enforcement officers during unrest in Wilmington on Feb. 6, 1971. The 10 were convicted and sent to prison in 1972, but witnesses for the prosecution later recanted their testimony.
The case soon became known around the world. The Wilmington Ten were perceived to be political prisoners by groups including Amnesty International. The convictions were overturned in 1980.
Executive director of the NAACP from 1993-1994, Chavis is now cofounder, president and CEO of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, the world’s largest coalition of hip-hop artists and recording industry executives.
For more on Chavis, visit http://www.drbenjaminchavis.com/pages/inner/biography.For more on the Wilmington Ten, visit http://www.lib.unc.edu/ncc/ref/nchistory/feb2005/index.html.
Institute for African American Research contact: Christopher Wells, (919) 962-6810,