American Dream Deferred: Race with History: Between Civil War and Civil Rights

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In 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina's majority African American population was a direct threat to local white supremacists. After months of agitation against the black community, and provoked by a stream of propaganda and stereotypes about the "immorality" of black men, armed white citizens overthrew the elected government of white Populists and predominantly black Republicans. White mobs killed an unknown number of black residents, burned the town's black newspaper, exiled the mayor and many officials, and drove thousands of black men, women and children out of town. The federal government looked the other way, marking a pivotal moment in the rise of Jim Crow and the strengthening of white supremacy. And even though the Wilmington coup d'etat had a profound impact on the long-term racial and economic realities of the South and the country in general, it was left out of national history books for many years. This program tells of the events of 1898 and the subsequent racial conflict in the Wilmington of 1971, concluding with events in 1998, when the community finally begins to face its past.

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