1898

Hannah Breisinger


As calls for racial justice continue, the removal of confederate symbols continues to be a hot topic in Wilmington. But street name changes, in particular, probably won’t be happening anytime soon.

Hannah Breisinger


It’s been 122 years since a mob of white supremacists took to the streets of Wilmington, burning down Black-owned businesses and murdering dozens of Black citizens. The aftermath of that event still lingers -- in city street names, in racist language uttered by police officers, in voter suppression and racial health disparities. Now, a new movement of racial justice is forcing city leaders and citizens to confront Wilmington’s past -- and visualize a more equitable future.

WHQR will be gathering our weekly reporting and posting it every Saturday in a podcast--we're calling it THE WEEKLY. Catch up every weekend with host Katelyn Freund.  And let us know what you think by emailing theweekly@whqr.org

Ending Saturday, July 25th, this past week’s top stories included new research on water quality in Wilmington, a new directory from New Hanover County Library, and a report on the local oyster industry. Take a listen below.

Tyler Lockamy, Travis Souther / NHC.gov

  The New Hanover County Public Library is now providing an online directory of the City of Wilmington. And while the directory is new, the information in it goes back over 100 years. WHQR reports on what the information tells us  -- and how it could better inform the history of the 1898 coup d’état.  

Vince Winkel

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, the protests began in Wilmington on May 30 with a gathering at 1898 Memorial Park. The next day, they moved to the steps of Wilmington City Hall. Every day and night since, people have gathered with signs protesting racism and police brutality.  One voice has stood out from the crowd. 

 

On November 10, 1898, an angry white mob led by prominent Wilmingtonians like Alfred Moore Waddell, Hugh MacRae, George Rountree, and J. Allen Taylor, murdered anywhere from a dozen to 300 people. These white supremacists forcefully removed black politicians from power, and hundreds of black business owners and residents fled in the aftermath. This feature includes video interviews with local leaders.

Vince Winkel

Two demonstrations in Wilmington over the weekend. Both were about George Floyd – the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last week. Saturday afternoon’s was peaceful. Sunday evening’s turned into a confrontation. Just before 10 pm, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo declared a state of emergency and put a curfew in place until 6 am Monday morning.  WHQR’s Vince Winkel was at both events and filed this report.

Vince Winkel

Over the weekend, protests continued all across the country over the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died from the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. At least fifteen states and the District of Columbia have either activated or requested the National Guard to assist local law enforcement. In Wilmington, the Saturday demonstration at 1898 Memorial Park was peaceful. 

It was the early 1990s when an American creative writing professor set about publishing his second novel.  The pivotal event in his book:  a 19th century bloody failure of democracy.  

Vince Winkel

A new marker unveiled Friday in Wilmington refers to the events of November 1898 as a “coup” and not a “race riot” as other signs had in years past. The ceremony included reading the names of those known to have been killed on November 10, 1898.

Annabelle Crowe

Wilmington’s history is rooted in racial tension. A local organization, Tru Colors, is trying to connect people across racial and economic divides through an unconventional event held at Ironclad Brewery last week.

“Sins, like chickens, come home to roost.  The South paid a fearful price for the wrong of negro slavery; in some form or other it will doubtless reap the fruits of this later iniquity…” 

Digital NC

The City of Wilmington has named November 10th 1898 Day. It was 120 years ago that a white mob seized local government, murdered an unknown number of people, and burned down the only black-owned daily newspaper.  

Vince Winkel

It was 120 years ago on November 10, 1898, when a mob of white supremacists burned property, terrorized Wilmington citizens, murdered anywhere from one dozen to 300 people, and forced elected officials from office. We’ll hear from New York Times Magazine Writer John Jeremiah Sullivan and his research partner Joel Finsel…We’ll talk with former city councilman, political science professor, and Wilmington native Earl Sheridan… 

Vince Winkel

Rhiannon Giddens is a singer and songwriter.  She plays the banjo and the fiddle.  She’s a storyteller, activist, and musical historian.  She’s also a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops -- inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2016. 

 April 4th, 2018 marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.  The news of King's murder reverberated around the world, but the loss for students, parents, and staff at Williston Senior High School in Wilmington was particularly wrenching.  Dr.

Alicia Inshiradu

Alicia Inshiradu has been working on a film for 18 years: What the River Knows. This year, Alicia received a grant to produce an excerpt of the work. It's a historical narrative-and a ghost story-inspired by the 1898 coup d'etat in Wilmington, North Carolina. Listen to Alicia talk about the film above; find details about the fundraiser, and an extended conversation, below.  

Eno Publishers

The recently-published anthology, 27 Views of Wilmington: The Port City in Prose and Poetry, compiles literary pieces from 27 accomplished, local writers – in addition to an introduction by Celia Rivenbark.   It’s produced by Eno Publishers -- a very small non-profit that puts out about two books a year.  27 Views of Wilmington is the last in the 27 Views series, which now has eight different editions, spotlighting Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Ashevil

Dilemma-X

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on February 18, 2015.

It’s February.  And that means that it’s Black History Month.

On this edition of CoastLine, we examine how we're handling this month in 21st century North Carolina and why the discussion of African history is inextricably intertwined with the contemporary issues of race with which we grapple today. 

New Hanover Co. Public Library

As February is Black History Month, we turn our attention to the 1898 coup d’état in Wilmington.  WHQR spoke with Philip Gerard, author of Cape Fear Rising.

In 1898, a group of white supremacists overthrew the democratically elected biracial government of Wilmington and replaced it with officials who instituted the first Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.  Philip Gerard, a creative writing professor at UNCW, researched these events for his historical novel: