Black History Month (Partial Education)
It's amazing how the majority of this city's government deny Wilmington's colorful history during the year. This history and it's produced present is treated as a discolored flaw, 11 months of the year. One month, of the year, this misconceived flaw is treated as a badge of honor. During this month, selective truths are told of Wilmington's history. As many religions were passed down by 'word of mouth,' much of Wilmington's true history only exists in the mouths of a few. But, the National Humanities Center provides the entire history. An example of the partial history, that is rarely told is:
Black people persisted in trying to register or vote, while white people met them at the polls with racial violence.
.... in 1898, a leading white man in Wilmington, North Carolina, proclaimed that he would drive African Americans out of politics, even if he had to “choke the Cape Fear River with the bodies of negroes.” After his party lost the election, he made good on his promise and led a mob that shot black citizens down in the streets. Then he fired city officials and seized the mayor’s office for himself. States also amended their constitutions to require segregation; municipalities passed laws that dictated where people could eat, live, walk, and stand.
The imposition of white supremacy and the violence that accompanied it sparked the Great Migration of African Americans to the North after the turn of the century. It became clear to black southerners that the federal government was not going to come to their aid if they remained in the South. A black woman who witnessed the Wilmington massacre wrote to the Attorney General of the United States and begged him to send a boat for their rescue. She asked him, “Is this the land of the free and the home of the brave? How can the Negro sing my country ‘tis of thee?”
I never understood the continuous response to this dark history: 'There were many mistakes made, in the past. As a people, we have learned and realize our mistakes.' It is not the history that I do not understand. The constant sharing of the 'good' history, without showing the presence of resistance, is what I do not understand. If it is claimed that history holds many mistakes, why glorify part of this infested history. This sends mixed signals. We see this through apartheid, the Holocaust, etc. Also, we see this unclarity through many, continuous, events of today. Unlearn.