Author to speak on race riots at Aycock birthplace
By Staff Reports
Published in News on January 21, 2010 1:46 PM
FREMONT -- Historian LeRae S. Umfleet will discuss the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot and sign copies of her new book, "A Day of Blood: The 1898 Wilmington Race Riot," Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Governor Charles B. Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the site's gift shop.
In her book, Ms. Umfleet examines the actions that precipitated the riot; the details of what happened in Wilmington on Nov. 10, 1898, and the long-term impact of that day in North Carolina and across the nation.
On that day, white rioters in Wilmington murdered blacks in broad daylight and overthrew a legitimately elected Republican government without public opposition or intervention by the authorities. Over the next quarter of a century, in a series of similar race riots throughout the country, Wilmington's violence led to ever-tightening controls on blacks as they lost their rights and, in many instances, their lives.
The only known coup d'état in American history, the riot was the result of a series of events planned by white businessmen to regain control of government on both local and state levels.
State Democratic Party strategists thrust Wilmington into the spotlight as an example of Republican corruption and bad government because of the participation of African Americans in local politics. The change in government that day fully ended black participation in local government until the advent of the civil rights era 60 years later.
Ms. Umfleet is chief of collections management for the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources. She holds a bachelor degree in history from the UNC-Chapel Hill and a master's degree in history from East Carolina University.
In 2007 she received the American Association for State and Local History's Award of Merit and WOW Award for her work on the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Report.
"A Day of Blood: The 1898 Wilmington Race Riot," was published by the Historical Publications Section of the N.C. Office of Archives and History and the African American Heritage Commission. Historical Publications (www.ncpublications.com) is administered by the Office of Archives and History, which is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (www.ncculture.com).
The Governor Charles B. Aycock Birthplace State Historic Site is located near Fremont on Governor Aycock Road.