Democracy Betrayed The Wilmington Race Riot of 1 898 and Its Legacy Edited by David S. Cecelski and Timothy B. Tyson University of North Carolina Press, 1998 352 pp. Cloth $45.00, Paper $18.95 Reviewed by James W. Loewen, author of the bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, published by New Press in 1995, and more recently of IJes Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong, published by New Press in 1999. During the Civil War, Wilmington, North Carolina, had been the Confederacy's major port. In 1898 it was still North Carolina's largest city, and in diat year oc- curred the notorious Wilmington "race riot." The 1898 violence was crucial to the history of Wilmington and the state; indeed, as Laura Edwards puts it in Democracy Betrayed, "What happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in die nation as a whole." After the end of Reconstruction, white Democrats didn't want to risk federal enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment, so diey didn't disfranchise blacks outright. Republicans tried to keep their party alive but faced violence from nightriders; white Republicans
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jan 4, 2000
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