‘Hidden in the History Books’: Wilmington Holds Training on 1898 Massacre | State and regional news


Sonya Patrick led a conversation on Wednesday about an issue that was once neglected for years.

“I would like to start off by saying that this has been hidden away in the history books for a long time,” said Patrick.

The director of the New Hanover County Chapter of the Black Leadership Caucus was the speaker at a conference on the history of Wilmington 101 at 1898 Memorial Park, one of many events planned this month to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of the Wilmington massacre in 1898.

Plans include a soil sampling ceremony and a funeral procession on Saturday for the first grave found of one of the bloodshed victims.

Teaching is also part of a series of monthly history classes planned by the city’s cultural arts program and led by local historians.

On Wednesday, many in attendance, most of whom were aware of the successful overthrow of the local government in 1898 before they got to the lesson, clapped softly.

“Nobody wanted to talk about it,” Patrick said of the silence on the coup.

Patrick embarked on a brief history of the events leading up to the massacre of November 10, 1898, pointing out that it was strategically planned and executed by white leaders and officials, before opening the floor for discussion.

“The aim was to scare whites about blacks,” said Patrick, referring to the circulation of racist propaganda and cartoons published in newspapers, designed to stir up suspicion and hatred in the months leading up to the massacre.

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