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Videos » Wilmington 1898: The Hidden History of An American Coup D’État

Wilmington 1898: The Hidden History of An American Coup D’État

Posted by Scotty Reid
On November 10, 1898, the only coup d’état ever to take place on American soil began with the torching of a black owned newspaper in Wilmington, North Carolina, and ended with white supremacists overthrowing the local government. The coup was the culmination of a white supremacy and propaganda campaign waged all across the state, designed to strip black men of the right to vote, remove them from public office, and stoke fear. Throughout the events of 1898 and after, at least 60 (and possibly hundreds) of black men were murdered, and more than 2,100 African Americans were banished or fled the city, turning a black-majority town known as a symbol of black hope and progress, into a stronghold of white supremacy. In this session, three award-winning historians, authors and experts on this period – LeRae Umfleet, David Cecelski, and Dr. Freddie Parker – discuss the events leading up to and taking place during the Wilmington coup, as well as discuss the lasting legacy of this little known history. After a brief presentation from each panelist, they answer and discuss questions posed by attending educators. During the second half of the session professors of education Lisa Brown Buchanan (Elon University) and Cara Ward (UNC-W), as well as middle school teacher Cori Greer-Banks, discuss strategies for teaching 1898 Wilmington, teaching “hard history” in general, as well as the challenges teachers often face in this work. This program was provided by Carolina K-12 at UNC-Chapel Hill ( and the NCMOH ( For lesson plans about 1898 Wilmington, visit Carolina K-12's Database of K-12 Resources at Additional resources, including the PPTs shared by the presenters, can be accessed at . For related content, see our panel discussion with the creators of the film, "The Red Cape," a dramatic film about 1898, here:
Posted Aug 19
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