The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898
Exactly one-hundred and ten years ago on this day in people’s history, the Wilmington Race Riots occurred in North Carolina. On November 10th, 1898 a municipal coup d’etat was staged as at least twenty-two blacks were killed by white racist members of the Democratic Party. Emboldened by a post-reconstruction general election that brought the Democrats back in power in the state legislature, former Confederate Alfred Moore Wadell led a mob to oust the white Republican mayor of Wilmington as well as black and white members of city government. Neither President McKinley nor the Governor of North Carolina at the time did anything to stop the profoundly violent, racist, and anti-democratic usurpation of power. And it wasn’t until 2007 that the North Carolina Democratic Party issued an apology for the events of the Wilmington Race Riots.
Ironic, is it not, that this is a historical root of a national party that would go on to field the first elected African American President in the nation’s history?