Wilmington Massacre of 1898
Shout out to the victims of the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.
After a coup d’état on November 10, 1898—where a white mob of over 2,000 men overtook the elected racially-mixed government of Wilmington, North Carolina—several hundred Black residents of the predominantly Black city were displaced. Deprived of any alternative, they left their burning homes and leveled businesses only for their tragedy to be excluded from history books for more than a century.
Prior to this insurrection—the only of its kind to succeed on American soil—Wilmington possessed a prosperous Black population of lawyers, a doctor, and other professions of prominence. The ports of this city in southeastern North Carolina aided in cultivating a flourishing sea work industry for African Americans. Accordingly, Wilmington gained acclaim as a Black Mecca.
On November 6, 2021, massacre victim, Joshua Halsey, received his just deserts in a proper processional in the presence of his surviving great granddaughters 123 years after he was killed during the insurrection. He was one of an estimated 250 people murdered that day by white supremacists. Just as most of the victims, Mr. Halsey was buried in an unmarked grave. Fortunately, his plot was discovered in October 2021.
To my friend, Inez Campbell-Eason: Your great-great grandfather, Isham Quick, survived the massacre, but lost everything from his property to his membership of the Metropolitan Trust Company. Conversely, his dignity never waned. It’s evident: you’ve inherited his strength and resolve.
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