Sunday, November 19, 2006

History Lessons

Damage done to a black-owned newspaper office in 1898. Courtesy of the New Hanover Public Library (Charlotte Observer)

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

The Charlotte Observer has written a huge special report documenting the racist campaign of the late 1800s that culminated in the Wilmington Race Riot of 1898, which led to the adoption of the Jim Crow laws.

Charlotte Observer: The Ghosts of 1898
(you may need to register to read, or use

which contains this:
Blot on N.C. history
We apologize for Observer's role in racist 1898 campaign

An apology to our readers

An apology is inadequate to atone for the Observer's role in promoting the white supremacist campaign. But an apology is due. As Mr. Faulkner observed, the past is not dead. For much of the 20th century black citizens were denied political rights, adequate education and economic opportunity because of their race. The legacy of that era helped shape North Carolina for decades. Only in recent years has our state begun to reap the benefits of talented blacks' full participation in its economic, cultural and political life.

We apologize to the black citizens and their descendants whose rights and interests we disregarded, and to all North Carolinians, whose trust we betrayed by our failure to fairly report the news and to stand firmly against injustice.

I was alerted to this series by this diary on dailykos: N Carolina Newspaper Exposes The Riot That Began Jim Crow and Interviews the Descendents.

No comments: