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2010 - 95th Annual Convention Pages: unavailable || Words: 1257 words || 
1. Umfleet, LeRae. ""A Day of Blood:" The 1898 Wilmington Race Riot and the Decline of African American Economic Prosperity in the City" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-22 <>
Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: “A Day of Blood” proclaimed Raleigh’s News and Observer about the events of November 10, 1898. On that date, white rioters in Wilmington murdered blacks in broad daylight and overthrew a legitimately elected government without opposition or intervention by authorities.
Neither isolated nor spontaneous, the riot was the result of events planned by white businessmen to regain political control. Wilmington was thrust into the spotlight as an example of corruption and bad government because of the participation of African Americans in local politics. The change in government that day—the only successful coup d’état in US history—fully ended black participation in state politics until the civil rights era.
Additionally, white businessmen regained a stronghold on economic growth. Wilmington, an example of black economic progress at the cusp of the 20th century, boasted higher degrees of property ownership than other areas in the state and significant strides in business ownership, income, and educational pursuits. Forward movement was replaced by a decline in black economic status. Business owners moved out of the business district, incomes lowered, educational achievement was stunted, and property ownership declined. Just as Wilmington’s African Americans foreshadowed prosperity that could have reached out across the state at the end of the 19th century, the near-instant destruction of their lives and dreams reflected economic paralysis at the beginning of the 20th century.
This presentation will examine the riot of November 10, 1898 and the long-term impact of that day in both North Carolina and across the nation.

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