Crow and the Wilmington Race Riots By Molly Porter

The end of the Civil War kick started many events involving the black community, especially in the Southern states. This also involved the Emancipation Proclamation finally being enforced in the states, allowing many slaves, such as Boo Nanny and Sadie, to be freed.
The lack of education former slaves received after being free is appalling. The only person who ever tries to help Boo Nanny read is Moses. She's never been taught. Not knowing how to read was quite common back then, which made enforcing black codes, like literacy tests, much simpler.
As demonstrated in the sixth chapter, unfair treatment of black people was common and acceptable in those times. This was disheartening for anyone who longed for equality, but sadly true. They didn't get nearly the same amount of opportunities to shine as white people did.
Many news stories, such as the one involving white women's lives being threatened by black freedom, slandered innocent people for little reason. The Committee of Twenty-Five constantly state that black men leaving is for their and everyone else's good without any proof to back it up.
Many black codes were put in place from here on out to restrict black rights. It denied their right to vote especially, but this was only the start of the intimidation tactics used.
A group called the Red Shirts used intimidation to fight the black community of Wilmington. Their specific name in the book was The Committee of Twenty-Five. They were white men who claimed everything they did was for the towns good. They also wore, surprisingly, red shirts.
These Red Shirts made the whole community fear for their lives. The blacks fears the Red Shirts, and the whites were afraid of the blacks due to propaganda they were fed.
The Wilmington Race Riots truly begun with the burning of The Record building. Moses' father works there, and being around that burning building likely felt like a culture dying. The Record was the only black newspaper in Wilmington. The Red Shirts burned it to the ground on November 10, 1898. This was two days after the new, democratic governor was elected.
A massacre began in the city of Wilmington soon after the burning of The Record. It was recorded that 25 black citizens had been killed. However, the numbers on the deaths are uncertain. Many black citizens were wounded as well. This massacre was led by the Red Shirts as an attack against the black community.
After the massacre, segregation took over the largely black city of Wilmington. The white population rose, and with it, the preference to serve that white population. Whites and blacks weren't seen as equals. This shows up constantly throughout the book. They don't deliver the organ to their house, allow him to win the slogan competition, and so much more. However, this book also demonstrates how we came over this. By the end, Moses and Tommy are playing together as though there is no barrier between them.


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