'Wilmington's Lie' Reveals 1898 'Race Riot' Was White Supremacist Coup
This show originally aired Feb. 20, 2020.
In 1898, Wilmington was the site of a rare event, the violent overthrow of a duly elected local government. White supremacists forced black officials to resign at gunpoint. Journalist David Zucchino shares the story.
Thirty years after the Civil War African-Americans were making headway in Wilmington, North Carolina. By 1898, many participated in a multi-racial government.
But this angered a group of white supremacists. It led to a riot and to the violent overthrow of duly elected officials forced to resign at gunpoint. For years, this was depicted as a race riot in which 60 black men died. The ugly truth is that it was a bloody coup.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Zucchino lays it out in his book Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy. He shares how that story reverberates today.
David Zucchino, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, contributing writer for The New York Times, and Author of Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy