Wilmington was a thriving, and popular town to everyone that was encountered by Wilmington during the end of the 19th century.
Wilmington was the state's largest city, and two thirds of it being African American.
Wilmington was so thriving that it was the center of African American political and economic success. It was known as a symbol of "black hope."
The politics in 1898 were similar to politics today, except today we are more established. The political parties in the 1800's were the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and also the Populist Party.
The Democratic party was originally the party supporting slave holding, they controlled North Carolina state and local governments from 1876-1894. They also developed into a constant wealthy working class, and rural white members.
The Republican party were supporters of African American equality. They were the anti-slavery party, which was officially made in North Carolina in 1867.
The Populist party was known to being the "People's party." The people that were apart of this group was the people that left the Democratic party, which meant that these people were all rural whites.
These men in the picture above were a Democratic group called Red Shirts. Their goal was to intimidate the African American people that were for the Republican party. They would patrol the streets with guns before the election to scare the African American's away from voting. One of their attacks were on the only African American owned newspaper in Wilmington, The Wilmington Record, which their owner (Alex Manly) was threatened and ran out of town.
Alex Manly was the African American man that was the owner and also the editor of the only African American owned newspaper in Wilmington. Manly ran out of town, threatened by the Red Shirts, the Wilmington Record was burned down by the Red Shirts after tension grew and grew between the Democrats and the Republicans during the election. Alex was born 1866 in Wilmington, and died in Philadelphia 1944.
We have just finished reading the book Crow by Barbara Wright. It took place before and after the Wilmington Race Riot.
Here are 10 main points of the book that connected with the Wilmington Race Riot.
One of the main events in the book Crow was the Red Shirt mobs were attacking the African American's because they were voting for the Republicans, and the Red Shirts were Democrats. Since there were so many riots with the Red Shirts, this caused the Democrats to win the election, because the African Americans were too scared to vote. Red Shirts would threaten their lives if they didn't vote for the Democrat Party.
Another main point in the book was when the Red Shirts busted into the African American newspaper record to steal the only Printing Press in Wilmington, to take away as much power from the African Americans they could.
One of main characters in the book named Moses, had to skip school a couple of times, because the Red Shirt riots were so violent, they might have killed him, because he was African American.
Another important part in the book was when Moses's friend Thomas kicked Moses because of his race. Thomas's father told Thomas to kick Moses because he was African American (Thomas was white). This shows discrimination against African Americans and white people.
Moses's father tried to stand up for his rights against the Red Shirts, which resulted in him getting shot in the neck. Although what the Red Shirts didn't know was that Moses's father saw Boo Nanny (another main character in the book) get shoved by the end of one of the Red Shirts rifles, so he tried to help her. This lead the Red Shirts to thinking that he was trying to escape from the line to the train station, which lead to him getting shot.
The book showed discrimination against African American people by talking about Moses wanting to get a bicycle, but the owner wouldn't let Moses get it because he was African American.
Moses's mother got fired because she was late to work because of the riots. Moses's mother worked for a rich white family, she took care of cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the white children.
For Moses's birthday, his father took him to the train station, Moses was taking some of the free food the train station had, and the Red Shirts assumed that he was stealing because he was African American. This showed that the Red Shirts were very racist and didn't trust African Americans.
The Red Shirts took away Moses's father because he was African American. They wanted to get rid of as many African Americans possible, they wanted them to understand that the whites over powered the African Americans.
One final part of the book was when Moses saved a baby during one of the riots, it showed that the riots got out of hand, and needed to be stopped in order to go on with the election.