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"State of Black Emergency" Event Addresses Wilmington Racial Disparities

Hannah Breisinger
Wednesday's event was held at the Martin Luther King Center in Wilmington.

The civil rights movement may have peaked in the mid-20th century, but issues affecting black Americans persist. This past Wednesday, Wilmington community members gathered to address specific local concerns – such as education, health disparities, and economic empowerment. 

It’s been 56 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Josiah Bennetone is the Executive Coordinator of the National Black Leadership Caucus in New Hanover County. He says events like this let the black community know that their concerns, and their voices, are heard.

“A lot of times people get involved with certain situations, but they don't have support so they get discouraged. So my biggest issue right here is, you are not alone. We’re here with you, we hear your cry and we’re here to work for the same change that you are.”

Other topics addressed were the impact of confederate monuments, political participation, and saving the black press. Organizers plan to hold the event annually.

Hannah is WHQR's All Things Considered host, and also reports on science, the environment, and climate change. She enjoys loud music, documentaries, and stargazing; and is the proud mother of three cats, a dog, and many, many houseplants. Contact her via email at hbreisinger@whqr.org, or on Twitter @hbreisinger.