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The Wilmington TenViolence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s$
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Kenneth Robert Janken

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624839

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624839.001.0001

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The Making of a Movement

The Making of a Movement

(p.43) Chapter 2 The Making of a Movement
The Wilmington Ten

Kenneth Robert Janken

University of North Carolina Press

The growth of the movement in Wilmington was stimulated by the presence of organizations dedicated to breaking through the suffocating restrictions of paternalism that the white elite of North Carolina and elsewhere deployed to manage the change in the racial order that they were knew they would not be able to stop. The chapter follows three organizations in North Carolina as they promoted their variants of black nationalism and Black Power and struggled to break the gradualist consensus on race liberation: the United Church of Christ’s Commission for Racial Justice, the Wilmington Movement organized by the North Carolina chapter of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Student (later Youth) Organization for Black Unity. Bombastic Black Power rhetoric was part of the three organization’s plans, and the idea that emboldening blacks and scaring whites could shake things up and alter the balance of power. But they tested their theories of social change in practice, and it was through that process that the organizations made gains.

Keywords:   Black Power, Black nationalism, Commission for Racial Justice, Student Organization for Black Unity (SOBU), Youth Organization for Black Unity (YOBU), United Church of Christ, Southern Christian Leadership Conference

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