P R E S S R E L E A S E
Department of Cultural Resources
James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor / Betty Ray McCain, Secretary
Release: Immediate / Date: September 16, 1998
Contact: Fay Mitchell Henderson
Symposium on 1898 Wilmington Racial Violence--A Defining Event
Respected scholars from across America will lead discussions at a free symposium on the effects of the 1898 Wilmington race riot Oct. 23-24 at UNC-Wilmington. The 1898 Wilmington Racial Violence and Its Legacy sponsored jointly by UNC-Wilmington and the N.C. Division of Archives and History, will present an overview and recent findings on the racially motivated violence in Wilmington in 1898.
That rioting featured an assault on the town's burgeoning black middle class and an overthrow of the democratically elected Republican city aldermen. The town's daily black newspaper, then the only black daily in the country, was destroyed. Many African Americans fled the area.
In a centennial observance of the violence, the symposium will examine four areas: roots of the conflict; race, sex and community; literary legacies; and the problem of race in American history. Among the participants are professors William Chafe, Duke University; LeAnn Whites, University of Missouri-Columbia; John Haley, UNC-Wilmington; Beverly Washington Jones, N.C. Central University; and others.
Dr. John Hope Franklin, Duke University, advisory board chair for the President's Initiative on Race, will deliver the keynote address on Friday night. WUNC radio in Chapel Hill will air a program examining the 1898 Wilmington racial violence and the symposium as a framework for contemporary racial relations on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. Cecelski and Timothy B. Tyson are co-editors of Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy, a study of the riots soon to be published by UNC Press.
The Division of Archives and History is an agency of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. For additional information about the conference, please call Dr. Melton McLaurin, UNC-Wilmington, 910/962-3137 or Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow, 919/733-7505.
Office of Public Affairs / Mary L. Cook
109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, N.C. 27601-2807 / Director
(919) 733-5722 - FAX 733-1620
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