White Supremacist Insurrection in the US and the Wilmington Coup D’État of 1898 with Dr. Maria Seger

White Supremacist Insurrection in the US and the Wilmington Coup D’État of 1898 with Dr. Maria Seger


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What might the only “successful” coup d’état in the United States tell us about the current moment of white supremacist insurrection? Join Dr. Maria Seger for a seminar on the little-known history of the Wilmington massacre and its legacies for white supremacist riots today.

As the sun rose on the morning of Thursday, November 10, 1898, two days after Election Day, hundreds of white men raided the armory in Wilmington, North Carolina. By nightfall, that same day, a mob of nearly 2,000 would overthrow the democratically-elected government of the largest city in the state, destroy the homes and businesses of the city’s Black residents, set fire to the offices of the city’s Black newspaper, and murder dozens if not hundreds of Black people.

Organized by the “Secret Nine,” a group of prominent white businessmen in town, and leading Democratic party politicians in North Carolina, the Wilmington coup d’état was the culmination of a year-long white supremacist campaign of incendiary rhetoric transmitted at political rallies, in the press, and in the streets. Supported by the violent voter suppression tactics of the Red Shirts—a paramilitary terrorist organization attempting to keep Black voters away from the polls—the Democrats won the statewide election. The following day, the “Secret Nine” authored their “White Declaration of Independence” and called a meeting to strategize the overthrow of the last remaining obstacle to a white man’s government: the legitimately-elected biracial Fusionist government in Wilmington. As the saying goes, the rest is history.

But as a recent piece in ‘The Atlantic’ suggests, this history has appeared mostly lost to us. Why is that, and what might that suggest about how Jim Crow history has been written and taught? What lessons does this horrific event offer about the limits of democracy in the United States? These are just a couple of the questions that we’ll explore in this seminar.

Led by an expert on nineteenth-century US literature and culture, Dr. Maria Seger, this interactive seminar will shed light on the history and legacies of white supremacist insurrection in the United States. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased ability to recognize and understand the resilience of white supremacist terrorism in US culture.

Maria Seger is an assistant professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she researches and teaches US, Black, and ethnic literatures and cultures and critical race and ethnic studies. Her work appears in Callaloo, Nineteenth-Century Literature, and Studies in American Naturalism, and her edited collection, Reading Confederate Monuments, is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. She earned her PhD from the University of Connecticut in 2016.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
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L
L.a.R.M.
Very Informative and well presented!

Learned so much about a pivotal point of history that I had previously knew nothing about. Thank you for teaching this!

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Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
100%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L.a.R.M.
Very Informative and well presented!

Learned so much about a pivotal point of history that I had previously knew nothing about. Thank you for teaching this!

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment