The Wilmington Massacre: Tour North Carolina’s Dark Secret

What happened in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1898 is one of this nation’s greatest tragedies, it is also one of its least known. The massacre of Black citizens and the political coup that took place in 1898 is a shameful part of American history that has been buried and was nearly erased by local officials. For years it was termed as a “race riot” or an “unfortunate incident”, but you need to know that it was nothing short of a Massacre. The story is brilliantly retold by the team from Vox in a 10-minute video that will leave you speechless and angry.

Today the city is known for two things: it is the gateway to Cape Fear and other beach communities in the outer banks and it is the birthplace of Michael Jordan. But once upon a time it was North Carolina’s largest city and home to a thriving black community. The violent takeover by a well organized White mob and the subsequent overthrow of the local government changed the trajectory of North Carolina politics for nearly 100 years and still resonates today. If you are in the area or even just driving through, we urge you to download the Wilmington Tour app and spend some time walking the city and learning more about what took place there. From the 1898 Monument and Memorial Park to the Cape Fear Museum there is lots to see. The Civil War statues that honor the Black Soldiers who fought at the Battle of Forks Road is beautiful and worth visiting.

The stunning exhibit in the Cameron Art Museum called Cash Crop is also a must see. Designed by local artist Stephen Hayes it depicts slaves on sip during the middle passage.

Of course, there is a catch, to download the African American portion of the tour you will be charged $5.99 in the app store, even now our history is not free.


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