Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy

Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy

by David S. Cecelski
     
 

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At the close of the nineteenth century, the Democratic Party in North Carolina engineered a white supremacy revolution. Frustrated by decades of African American self-assertion and threatened by an interracial coalition advocating democratic reforms, white conservatives used violence, demagoguery, and fraud to seize political power and disenfranchise black citizens.… See more details below

Overview

At the close of the nineteenth century, the Democratic Party in North Carolina engineered a white supremacy revolution. Frustrated by decades of African American self-assertion and threatened by an interracial coalition advocating democratic reforms, white conservatives used violence, demagoguery, and fraud to seize political power and disenfranchise black citizens. The most notorious episode of the campaign was the Wilmington "race riot" of 1898, which claimed the lives of many black residents and rolled back decades of progress for African Americans in the state.
Published on the centennial of the Wilmington race riot, Democracy Betrayed draws together the best new scholarship on the events of 1898 and their aftermath. Contributors to this important book hope to draw public attention to the tragedy, to honor its victims, and to bring a clear and timely historical voice to the debate over its legacy.
The contributors are David S. Cecelski, William H. Chafe, Laura F. Edwards, Raymond Gavins, Glenda E. Gilmore, John Haley, Michael Honey, Stephen Kantrowitz, H. Leon Prather Sr., Timothy B. Tyson, LeeAnn Whites, and Richard Yarborough.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[I]t shows national trends and social processes with local concreteness.

Southern Cultures

The overall quality of this volume, along with the skill and consistency with which it is edited, is unusually high.

North Carolina Historical Review

The essays offer us a rich understanding of the complex historical interplay of race, gender, and social class.

Journal of Southern History

An extraordinarily rich and thoughtful collection of essays.

Journal of American History

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807824511
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
11/10/1998
Edition description:
1
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.57(h) x 1.07(d)
Lexile:
1540L (what's this?)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Anyone hoping to advance the process of racial healing in the United States could do worse than to read these essays and pass on the stories and lessons contained within them.--American Historical Review

The overall quality of this volume, along with the skill and consistency with which it is edited, is unusually high. The range of essays encompasses the latest and best thinking about race and public life in North Carolina, and interest in this book should be broad. Democracy Betrayed makes a major contribution to the literature about the history of race in North Carolina, adding considerably to what we know about the origins, impact, and aftermath of a watershed event in American History.--North Carolina Historical Review

An extraordinarily rich and thoughtful collection of essays.--Journal of American History

[This book's] influence need not be limited to Wilmington. Because it shows national trends and social processes with local concreteness, Democracy Betrayed will be useful in courses on southern history or U.S. race relations.--Southern Cultures

Writers often transcend themselves when they are willing to confront something ugly in their own society. These writers focus on the overthrow of the last interracial government in the post-Civil War South and the massacre two days later that confirmed as final the national settlement between conservative Northern Republicans and reactionary Southern Democrats. This is scholarship that matters.--William Evans, author of Ballots and Fence Rails: Reconstruction on the Lower Cape Fear

Cecelski and Tyson have assembled a superb set of papers. While the explicit purpose of this volume is to commemorate the centennial of the 1898 Wilmington race riot, it goes further, much further. The essays offer us a rich understanding of the complex historical interplay of race, gender, and social class--how these factors interweave to form a context promoting and justifying the 1890s wave of racial violence directed at African Americans in the South in general and in Wilmington in particular. I recommend this book not only to those interested in Wilmington and North Carolina history but also to all those interested in southern history and race relations.--Journal of Southern History

Just as there are lessons to be learned from the recent past, there are lessons to be learned from the events of a century ago. This volume will inform some and remind others that our past can help us understand the challenges that this nation confronts as it undertakes to deal with the problem of race in the twenty-first century.--John Hope Franklin, from the Foreword

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