Members of the community gather for 1898 symposium
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - People from Wilmington and from across North Carolina came together on Saturday to reflect and discuss the events of Nov. 10, 1898.
The 1898 Wilmington massacre is known as one the darkest days in Wilmington’s history. White supremacists overthrew the local government, burned down Black-owned businesses, killed Black citizens and ran many others out of town.
At the symposium, attendees gathered to discuss how the community can continue to move forward from the violence. The event featured a panel of speakers from across Wilmington and other parts of North Carolina.
The symposium also featured the winners of the 1898 student essay competition. Leaders of the event say it is important for people of all ages to learn about history.
“It’s so important that our audiences that bear witness to history be intergenerational. It’s very, very crucial that young people understand the plight of history, and where they fit inside of that history,” said Jaki Shelton.
Shelton is with the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She says she thinks everyone and not just students in Wilmington should learn about the events of 1898.
“So much of our history is being erased, is being rewritten, is being repackaged. And it’s so important that our collective southern history is in. It’s in the hearts of young people as well as generations of people who have lived that past.”
Events to reflect on the 1898 massacre will be happening all throughout the month. More information about all of the events can be found in this story.
“We must never, not remember. We must always strive to remember the good, the bad and the ugly, and it’s so important to hear the stories and to tell each other our stories. Only when we tell each other our stories are we able to find that incredible mechanism.”
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