LUMBERTON — Tickets are sold out for Thursday’s screening and panel discussion of the documentary film “Pardons of Innocence: The Wilmington Ten.”
Sponsored by the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the film will screen at 7 p.m. at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater.
The film is written, produced and narrated by Cash Michaels, staff writer for The Wilmington Journal. In addition to the film’s director, panel discussion members include the Rev. Benjamin Chavis, former national director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a member of the Wilmington Ten.
The documentary recounts the troubled desegregation of New Hanover County public schools during the late 1960s through 1971, which evolved into the prosecution of eight black male students, a white female community organizer, and a fiery civil rights activist, Benjamin Chavis, for protesting racial injustice.
Special appearances in the film include the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., leader of the Wilmington Ten; Joseph McNeil, a Williston Senior High School alumnus and a member of the Greensboro Four, who integrated a downtown Greensboro F.W. Woolworth store in 1960; the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, and one of the ministers who lobbied Gov. James Hunt in 1977 to pardon the Wilmington Ten; and former Gov. Beverly Perdue, who ultimately pardoned the Wilmington Ten in December 2012.
The documentary, which premiered in 2014, also has been released on DVD for public schools, colleges and universities, and the general public.