Rosewood has long been infamous, but Wilmington came first and was even more devastating in its effects. In 1898, Wilmington was North Carolina's largest city, with a majority black population, a thriving black middle class, and a biracial Republican-Populist fusion government. On November 10, an armed mob of Democrat-backed white supremacists opened fire on African American neighborhoods, slaughtering dozens and driving thousands out of the city for good. In a five-year passion project that consumed all his resources, director Everett amassed rare photographs, original research, and testimony from historians and descendants of the victims to uncover a shocking event that marked a turning point in the politics of the post-Reconstruction South.
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