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Cape Fear Conversations: Black History in Wilmington

If you missed WHQR's February 11 Black History event, you're in luck: We have the highlights for you in this episode of The Newsroom. Hear from great speakers about local history, and tune in next week for an episode on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion panel.

In WHQR's inaugural Cape Fear Conversation, four storytellers shared their perspectives on and memories of moments and historical events in Wilmington. Our storytellers spoke about the racist coup in 1898, the Wilmington 10, the Green Book, and the closeness of the Black community.

We hope to hold Cape Fear Conversation events quarterly, focusing on issues that are important to those in southeastern North Carolina. Got a suggestion? Let us know at staffnews@whqr.org.

Our guests include:

  • Kojo Nantambu, Pastor of Temple of Truth Light and Life church.
  • Derrick Anderson, host of a regional Facebook Live show.
  • Lettie Gore, historian and educator, and host of the podcast History Shows Us.
  • Kevin Spears, Wilmington City Councilman.

Content warning: The podcast version of his episode contains uncensored racial slurs.

Below: Watch our live stream of the event.

Additional notes:

  • The ‘missing’ book or forbidden book Kojo Nantambu referenced was Harry Hayden's 1936 The Wilmington Rebellion, an account of the 1898 Wilmington massacre and coupe d'etat. (you can read a .pdf, below). Others have referred to reading the ‘Marrow of Tradition’ by Charles Chesnutt, a fictionalized account, as their first encounter with the massacre.
  • Several speakers referenced beloved teacher Florence Warren, who taught at Williston when it was an all-black school. You can listen to her reflections in this December 2021 episode of The Newsroom. She has since passed away, but she's remembered fondly by many of her students.
  • Listen to more on the Wilmington 10 here, or you can read a detailed timeline here.

Below: Hayden's 1936 pamphlet.