The emancipation of the Wilmington 10

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. | 1/31/2013, 4:41 p.m.

Angela Y. Davis, Charlene Mitchell, Ann Mitchell, Michael Myerson, Maria Ramos and the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) did an outstanding job in building effective national and crucial international support of the Wilmington 10 and for the release of all political prisoners in the U.S. Imani Kazana and the National Wilmington 10 Defense Committee remained steadfast in their support during critical stages of the case. I am recognizing and highlighting these persons and organizations to emphasize that building a successful movement for change involves keeping the faith, perseverance, diversity and coalition-building and risk-taking actions guided by progressive principles of struggle and human integrity.

Yes, 150 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as "an act of justice," racism is still alive in the United States of America. Yet, there has been much progress accomplished toward racial justice for all people doing the last two centuries. President Barack Obama, in his 2013 inaugural address, stated, "That is our generation's task--to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every American." The emancipation of the Wilmington 10 is a another step forward for the liberty and freedom for all.

Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. is president of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network and Education Online Services Corporation and can be reached at