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Wilmington NC

The Wilmington Coup 1898: When White Supremacists Overthrew an Elected Government

Defeated white voters in Wilmington literally staged a violent coup to overthrow the democratically elected government of their city. Across the nation, similar acts of domestic terrorism crushed democracy in the United States.

Can this country truly be called a democracy when violence and racial intimidation overshadow voter rights and other forms of political power?

From The NY Times:

A town that once boasted the largest percentage of black residents of any large Southern city found itself in the midst of a systematic purge. Successful black men were targeted for banishment from the city, while black workers left all their possessions behind as they rushed to the swamps for safety. Over 60 people died. No one seemed to care. The governor of North Carolina cowered in the face of the violent rebellion, worried about his own life. President William McKinley turned a blind eye to the bloodshed. And Waddell was selected as mayor as the white supremacists forced the duly elected officials to resign.


© Nadir Omowale