The White Declaration Of Independence: When White Supremacists Overthrew The Democratically Elected Government Of Wilmington, North Carolina

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In 1898, white supremacists permanently scarred the community of Wilmington, North Carolina by stoking anger and resentment among the white citizens of this formerly affluent black townAfter creating the "White Declaration of Independence," the hate group attacked black people in the media, at the polls, and finally, in the streets. Even after they turned Wilmington into a haven for white supremacists, though, the job wasn't done. White scholars and historians covered up the political games played to oust black politicians and blamed the violence on those who suffered from it the most. The real story has only recently come to light.

A Bustling Black Metropolis

In 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina had a prosperous majority-black population. Four years earlier, the Republican Party and the burgeoning Populist movement came together to form the aptly named "Fusion Party," and this new racially diverse party defeated establishment politicians (many of them white supremacists, who comprised the Democratic Party at the time) across the board in the next two state and local elections. They weren't happy about it.