Local News

Bill Would Make Wilmington Riots Part of Curriculum

Posted March 14, 2007 5:30 p.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2007 6:45 p.m. EDT

@NCCapitol

— A state lawmaker wants to ensure North Carolina students learn about the Wilmington race riots of 1898, one of the most troubling chapters in state history.

Rep. Thomas Wright, D-New Hanover, is a former chairman of the Wilmington Race Riote Commission, and he filed nine bills in the last two days to codify the commission's recommendations.

In November 1898, armed whites marched through black sections of Wilmington, driving people out and killing some who dared to challenge them. Whites also deposed elected black officials and took control of the city.

One of Wright's bills, House Bill 633, would make the riots part of the state history curriculum required in North Carolina public schools. Other proposals would provide funding for exhibits and monuments in Wilmington and set limits on civil damages for the descendants of those affected by the riots.

House Bill 751 calls for the General Assembly to "acknowledge that the riot was a conspiracy of the white elite, using intimidation and force, to replace a duly elected local government."

Meanwhile, Wright resigned Monday from his committee chairmanship responsibilities while the State Board of Elections investigates his campaign financing.