Wilmington Race Riot Essay

958 WordsMay 26, 20114 Pages
Throughout the course of human history, there have always been minorities that were oppressed, deprived and suffered under the constraints of the majority. African Americans in North Carolina (1898) were one of those minorities who had to go through great deal of hardships as the whites were creating a conspiracy against them. Through time we have come to know that conspiracy as “The Wilmington Race Riot”. In 1898, Wilmington was a thriving port city on the coast of North Carolina of which two-thirds of Wilmington’s population was African American. African Americans were business people who owned barbershops, restaurants, tailor shops, and drug stores. African Americans also held positions as firemen and policemen. Overall, the African American and white races existed peacefully but separately and good relations continued until the election of 1896. As the election of 1898 got closer, the Democrats moved quickly to come up with a new strategy to regain power. Furnifold Simmons was appointed Democratic Party chairman and was put in charge of managing the campaign. Simmons was a successful organizer with a keen knowledge of state politics. He organized a speaker’s bureau and sent talented orators/speakers who delivered the message to all parts of the state. The Democrats stated that only white men were fit to hold political office. They accused the Republicans of supporting "negro domination" in the state. One of the strategies the Democratic campaign came up with was focused on white women’s fears of African American males. Before to the election, speech by a Georgia woman had called for the widespread lynching of African American men for inappropriate relationships with white women and also that it protects white women. Alex Manly, an African American newspaper editor in Daily Record was angered by her speech and argued that white males were just as guilty of

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