Wilmington's Lie (Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize) : The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

Wilmington's Lie (Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize) : The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy

Description

WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE FOR GENERAL NONFICTION

From Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino comes a searing account of the Wilmington riot and coup of 1898, an extraordinary event unknown to most Americans.

By the 1890s, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city and a shining example of a mixed-race community. It was a bustling port city with a burgeoning African American middle class and a Fusionist government of Republicans and Populists that included black aldermen, police officers and magistrates. There were successful black-owned businesses and an African American newspaper, The Record. But across the state--and the South--white supremacist Democrats were working to reverse the advances made by former slaves and their progeny.

In 1898, in response to a speech calling for white men to rise to the defense of Southern womanhood against the supposed threat of black predators, Alexander Manly, the outspoken young Record editor, wrote that some relationships between black men and white women were consensual. His editorial ignited outrage across the South, with calls to lynch Manly.

But North Carolina's white supremacist Democrats had a different strategy. They were plotting to take back the state legislature in November "by the ballot or bullet or both," and then use the Manly editorial to trigger a "race riot" to overthrow Wilmington's multi-racial government. Led by prominent citizens including Josephus Daniels, publisher of the state's largest newspaper, and former Confederate Colonel Alfred Moore Waddell, white supremacists rolled out a carefully orchestrated campaign that included raucous rallies, race-baiting editorials and newspaper cartoons, and sensational, fabricated news stories.

With intimidation and violence, the Democrats suppressed the black vote and stuffed ballot boxes (or threw them out), to win control of the state legislature on November eighth. Two days later, more than 2,000 heavily armed Red Shirts swarmed through Wilmington, torching the Record office, terrorizing women and children, and shooting at least sixty black men dead in the streets. The rioters forced city officials to resign at gunpoint and replaced them with mob leaders. Prominent blacks--and sympathetic whites--were banished. Hundreds of terrified black families took refuge in surrounding swamps and forests.

This brutal insurrection is a rare instance of a violent overthrow of an elected government in the U.S. It halted gains made by blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another half century. It was not a "race riot," as the events of November 1898 came to be known, but rather a racially motivated rebellion launched by white supremacists.

In Wilmington's Lie, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Zucchino uses contemporary newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and official communications to create a gripping and compelling narrative that weaves together individual stories of hate and fear and brutality. This is a dramatic and definitive account of a remarkable but forgotten chapter of American history.

Similar Books


ISBN 10: 0062671197
ISBN 13: 9780062671196

23 Mar 2021
Louise Erdrich

ISBN 10: 0593230574
ISBN 13: 9780593230572

17 Nov 2021
Nikole Hannah-Jones

ISBN 10: 0735222355
ISBN 13: 9780735222359

05 Oct 2021
Amor Towles

ISBN 10: 1982182911
ISBN 13: 9781982182915

21 Sep 2021
Bob Woodward

ISBN 10: 1631498703
ISBN 13: 9781631498701

07 May 2021
Marcia Chatelain

ISBN 10: 1784700762
ISBN 13: 9781784700768

29 Oct 2015
Jill Leovy

ISBN 10: 0520383125
ISBN 13: 9780520383128

05 May 2021
Howard Steven Friedman

ISBN 10: 0008294046
ISBN 13: 9780008294045

14 Jan 2020
Ece Temelkuran

ISBN 10: 024141346X
ISBN 13: 9780241413463

01 Oct 2020
Richard J. Evans

ISBN 10: 0691173427
ISBN 13: 9780691173429

01 Jan 2017
Jason Stanley

ISBN 10: 0465020690
ISBN 13: 9780465020690

27 Jul 2010
Thomas Metzinger

ISBN 10: 1250229855
ISBN 13: 9781250229854

01 Apr 2021
Martha Wells