A news story of business burned to the grown and the owners massacred not revealed for 108 years sounds unbelievable to us. We live in world of multiple social platforms with 24 hour news.
Yet only a generation or two Wilmington, South Carolina families shared a story no one spoke aloud. It as a tale of the injustice, murder, and discrimination.
An organized white mob massacred the black majority of the town of Wilmington, South Carolina on November 10,1898. Yet it wasn’t until 2006 when the South Carolina it General Assembly first published a report about this horror. Prior to this publication, the Wilmington citizens of both races spoke in hushed voices about the dark day. The white men claimed they captured the city back. The Negro families spoke about killing of the black business owners and the burning of their property.This is one of many repress incidents in Black History. It is one of many stories told from generation to generation. Each story retold with emotion and pain.
The September 19,2016 edition of the New Yorker published Lauren Collins article “A Buried Coup D’Etat in the United States.” Collins interviews Christopher Everett, the director of the documentary -“Wilmington on Fire,” depicting the events of the massacre and upheaval of Wilmington.
Everett took Collins on a tour of the Wilmington City and pointed out where the events occurred on November 10, 1898. This story seething from generation to generation of cannot be discarded. Everyone who has concerned for this nation needs to have an understanding for our propensity to be cruel to each other.
There are those who say “don’t open old wounds.” There are those who argue that what’s done is done. Live in the present.” Yet, we know when individuals feel they have been wrong for centuries, forgiveness is not easy.
Lincoln said it best: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it we must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Americans awaken the better angels within you. We must. We need to be open to differences. Our nation was built on differences. We take pride in being the world’s “melting pot.”