Southeastern North Carolina Black History Month facts: Week 1

Black History Month
Black History Month(WECT)
Published: Feb. 10, 2022 at 11:02 AM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - WECT proudly celebrates Black History Month.

All month long we will highlight places, people, and moments that shaped Black history in southeastern North Carolina.

Feb. 1: The Daily Record

The Wilmington Daily Record served as the only Black newspaper in the Port City.

At the time it was believed to be the only Black-owned newspaper in the country.

In August 1898, the newspaper’s founder and editor Alex Manly published an editorial denouncing whites for claiming Black men were raping white women.

The article triggered outrage and white supremacists burned down the Daily Record offices on Nov. 10, 1898.

The publication now is known as The Wilmington Journal.

Feb. 2: Montford Point Marines

The Montford Point Marines are the first class of African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps.

Montford Point camp was the original base for the Black marines at Camp Lejeune.

Over 20,000 African Americans were trained at the Montford Point camp between 1942 and 1949.

The Montford Point Marines fought in World War II.

Starting in 1942, 20,000 African Americans joined the then-segregated force.

Six veterans from the Wilmington area were honored in 2012 with the Congressional Gold Medal - the highest civilian award.

The U.S. Congress recently passed Senate Resolution 587 which designates Aug. 26, as Montford Point Marine Day.

Feb. 3: 1898 Memorial 

The 1898 Memorial and Park commemorates the victims of 1898 Wilmington Massacre and Coup d’état.

In November of that year, an armed band of white men burned the Black-owned Wilmington Record and forced Wilmington’s biracial government to resign - replacing them with white Democrats.

The six paddles remember the African Americans that lost their lives that day.

Earlier this year, Wilmington City Council voted to approve funding for a new sign for the memorial park.

Feb. 4: Wilmington Ten

In 1971, a group started to boycott Wilmington schools during a period of racial tension and integration in the school system.

A group of nine Black men and one white woman were convicted wrongfully of arson and conspiracy in the firebombing of Mike’s Grocery.

The group, known as the Wilmington Ten, was sentenced to a total of 282 years in prison in 1972.

Eventually, those sentences were commuted.

In 2012, then-Governor Beverly Perdue pardoned the Wilmington Ten.

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