Racism

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.

Vince Winkel

With the movement to rename Hugh MacRae Park growing, demonstrators held a sit-in at the park Wednesday to raise awareness of social and racial injustice. The park is named after one of the architects of Wilmington’s 1898 massacre.  It’s estimated that hundreds of Blacks lost their lives in what was the only successful coup d’etat in U.S. History.   

Vince Winkel

Three Wilmington police officers have been fired from the force for violating Department policy concerning inappropriate language.  Chief Donny Williams confirmed the move at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. 

Hannah Breisinger

It was a tense City Council meeting in Wilmington this week, with Black Lives Matter protesters in attendance, demanding changes to police procedures and the city budget.

File Photo


Wilmington City Council has voted to adopt its 2020-2021 fiscal year budget. The $206 million financial plan does not include a tax increase. Other aspects of the budget stirred controversy at the council meeting.

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. 

Hannah Breisinger


Kevin Spears focused his campaign for city council on the priorities of Wilmington’s underserved citizens. Now, six months in office, he spoke with WHQR’s Hannah Breisinger about the biggest issues facing the city’s black community. 

 

 

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.

Hannah Breisinger

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 marked nine days since the death of George Floyd -- an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer in Minneapolis kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes.

RLH / WHQR

New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington have instituted a nightly curfew.  Officials say they respect the right to a peaceful protest – but they don’t know the identity of a group that’s gathering nightly.    

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. 

Vince Winkel

The New Hanover County Board of Education will meet next week to discuss the future of Williston Middle School. At issue is whether it will become an arts school, a high school, or perhaps stay as it is. That’s just one of several items the new Board is working on this year. And those items come with some history.

Jim Wallis is a theologian and a prolific writer on issues of politics and morality.  He’s also the president of a social justice group called Sojourners in Washington, D.C.  He insists he’s not President Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor, but he does talk with Obama and other key Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill about moving away from partisan-based debates towards a dialogue grounded in morality.