Nov. 10, 2020
The White Democratic Mob Raises The Mantle Of White Supremacy
Long termed a “race riot,” the turmoil that enveloped Wilmington, North Carolina on November 10, 1898 is now called an armed insurrection. White Democratic supremacists drove from power all of the black and white elected officials of this predominately African American city in what was believed to be the only violent overthrow of a local government in United States history. Twenty-two blacks were killed during the insurrection and hundreds of African American citizens were forced to flee the city, many of whom never returned. This blatant attempt to erase any potential alliance between whites willing to fuse their interests with African American interests was motivated by southern white Democrats who's only motive was to utterly decimate this potentially promising racial alliance. In my history books there was mention of the Wilmington White Mob political takeover of 1898. What appears below is a rare eyewitness account provided by Rev. Charles S. Morris who became one of the refugees from the city. Morris provided the account in a speech in January 1899 before the International Association of Colored Clergymen meeting in Boston. I will read the account on my blog. On my read-aloud project, I detailed this tragic event when I read aloud the book Wilmington’s Lie. I wonder if the political overthrow of growing African American influence in Wilmington, North Carolina hadn't been brushed under the carpet of historical ignorance. Would we be just a little more adamant about gaining reparations today?
Frances Faircloth Johnson
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