Download The Wilmington Ten: Violence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s Audiobook

The Wilmington Ten: Violence, Injustice, and the Rise of Black Politics in the 1970s Audiobook, by Kenneth Robert Janken Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kenneth Robert Janken Narrator: Ron Butler Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2016 ISBN: 9781504664011
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In February 1971 racial tension surrounding school desegregation in Wilmington, North Carolina, culminated in four days of violence and skirmishes between white vigilantes and black residents. The turmoil resulted in two deaths, six injuries, more than $500,000 in damage, and the firebombing of a white-owned store, before the National Guard restored uneasy peace. Despite glaring irregularities in the subsequent trial, ten young persons were convicted of arson and conspiracy and then sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison. They became known internationally as the Wilmington Ten. A powerful movement arose within North Carolina and beyond to demand their freedom, and after several witnesses admitted to perjury, a federal appeals court, also citing prosecutorial misconduct, overturned the convictions in 1980.

Kenneth Janken narrates the dramatic story of the Ten, connecting their story to a larger arc of Black Power and the transformation of post–civil rights–era political organizing. Grounded in extensive interviews, newly declassified government documents, and archival research, this book thoroughly examines the events of 1971 and the subsequent movement for justice that strongly influenced the wider African American freedom struggle.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Janken re-creates in meticulous detail a trial that became a cause célèbre in the 1970s…Younger readers may be most surprised by the blatant racism expressed by some of the court officials…The subject matter is fascinating, and it’s illustrative of how far Americans still have to go in bridging our society’s divisions.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Janken’s highly recommended history of student racial protest provides a historical perspective on the current struggle for diversity within academia and the black lives matter movement”

    Library Journal

  • “A new look at the injustice visited on a group of African American high school students engaged in the battle for desegregation in the public schools…A passionate, intensely engaging portrait of the group’s initial mission, as well as the terrible personal lifelong toll the struggle took.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Janken’s account of racial injustice in North Carolina proves even more enlightening through Ron Butler’s powerful narration…With a deep voice and deliberate tone, Butler guides listeners through the events and differing points of view…His emotional distance allows listeners to focus on the substance of the firsthand accounts.”


  • “Janken provides us unique insights into one of the many violent battles in America’s misrepresented racial war of the 1960s and 1970s—a war that has quieted but not ended.”

    John Sayles, director of Matewan and author of A Moment in the Sun

  • “A riveting and important study of injustice in the modern South…This is an unflinching work of history that makes a tremendously important contribution.”

    David Carter, Auburn University

  • “Janken provides the reader with a riveting, important account of a sorely understudied episode in the black freedom movement of the early to mid 1970s. The Wilmington Ten is likely to become a transformative work in the area of black freedom studies.”

    Clarence Lang, author of Black America in the Shadow of the Sixties

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About the Author

Kenneth Robert Janken is professor of African American and Diaspora studies at the University of North Carolina and director of the UNC Center for the Study of the American South. He is the author of Rayford W. Logan and the Dilemma of the African American Intellectual and White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP, among other titles.

About the Narrator

Ron Butler is a Los Angeles–based actor, Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator, and voice artist with over a hundred film and television credits. Most kids will recognize him from the three seasons he spent on Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP. He works regularly as a commercial and animation voice-over artist and has voiced a wide variety of audiobooks. He is a member of the Atlantic Theater Company and an Independent Filmmaker Project Award winner for his work in the HBO film Everyday People.