American Pogrom:

Wilmington, North Carolina
November 10, 1898

What happened in Wilmington, North Carolina, just after Election Day, 1898, can be accurately described as both a coup d’état and a massacre—despite its characterization at the time as a “race riot,” with all responsibility placed on Black residents.

North Carolina had ratified the 14th Amendment in 1868, initially embracing Reconstruction. By 1898, Wilmington had become a majority-Black city, with both working- and professional-class Black residents. Republicans held the governorship and a majority in the mixed-race legislature and on the mixed-race city council.

The mob burned the offices of the (Black-owned) Daily Record. They expelled Black alderman from the city council, replaced them with Whites, and published a so-called “White Declaration of Independence.”

The result: dead and displaced Black people, a majority-White Wilmington, and, once again, Black people blamed for their deaths and the destruction and appropriation of their property.

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