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The Frederick Douglass Foundation is taking the time to commemorate the 112 year anniversary of the historical events that took place during the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 better known as the Wilmington Race Riots.
On November 10, 1898 in Wilmington, NC - white supremacist Democrats illegally seized power from the elected Republican government in a violent coup d'état that left an un-estimated number of blacks dead. The group lead by Alfred Moore Waddell, consisted of white businessmen and former Confederate soldiers; all of whom were white supremacists that took unprecedented actions under the guise of re-establishing the Democratic Party.
"Subsequent to usurping power, Democratic state legislators passed the first Jim Crow laws for North Carolina. The Democrats had established martial law for African Americans in North Carolina and had thus forged a template applied far beyond the state's borders for at least fifty years. Many of the rights blacks had secured after the Civil War were removed from the legal codes."
The Wilmington Insurrection was the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history and began the 66 year digression of black civil rights after the Republican established reconstruction era.
As we reflect on these solemn events that stain American history, we must remember the battles fought and won by individuals who stood for universal freedom and unapologetically demanded equal rights of all people.