The Tragedy of the Ten and the Rise of a New Black Politics
The conclusion brings the case of the Wilmington Ten from the overturning of their convictions into the twenty-first century when they received pardons of innocence in 2012. Returning to the reality that the state of North Carolina ruined lives in order to forestall inevitable change and combat radicalism, the conclusion briefly examines what happened to the individual members of the Wilmington Ten. It also reappraises the movement to free them in light of recent scholarship on the trajectory of African American politics and black radicalism. Since this century began, North Carolina has pulsed with struggle over the types of issues that characterized the conflicts of the 1970s. Public schools have re-segregated, and state government’s support for quality education for all has been hijacked by a mania for charter, religious, and for-profit schools. Fighters for criminal justice reform have brought to light many other cases of wrongful conviction. Police misconduct, including instances of corrupt investigations, brutality and death under at best questionable circumstances, bubbles to the surface, as in Ferguson, Missouri and elsewhere. This and more has brought forth in North Carolina collective efforts to find solutions, including the broad-based Moral Monday movement, which has been emulated across the South.
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