This video highlights Wilmington, North Carolina, in the years leading up to the election of 1898. At the time, Wilmington could boast of idyllic race relations between black and white citizens. Blacks, only thirty years after Emancipation, had become professionals, politicians and shop owners. While blacks prospered, some whites resented what they perceived as a new attitude among blacks of equality or even superiority to their white counterparts. However, the real issue was political power. Whites became fearful that blacks, who were in the majority, would control the city. As the statewide and local elections of 1898 approached, the Democratic Party, then the party of white supremacy, was determined to end black political power in Wilmington.
Learn more about The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.
© 2014 PBS & WGBH Educational Foundation. All rights reserved.