November 10 marks the 109th anniversary of Wilmington's Race Riots. Members of the community took to the streets to retrace those historic steps. The city of Wilmington has changed a lot since 1898. Back then, according to the African American Foundation, the city was a predominately black community with high-ranking officials in the city government. For that same reason people believe the 1898 Race Riot was sparked in retaliation of blacks being able to hold office. The African American Foundation organized a history walk to educate future generations about Wilmington's history. Walkers spent the day stopping at various historical sites that played a huge role in the conflict. Many say this was an opportunity to strengthen future race relations by shedding light on the past. African American Heritage Foundation President John Battle said, "We see this day as an educational process, also as opportunity for us to heal. You know, when you have traumatic experience the best way to heal is to talk about it." Many say healing is exactly what the city of Wilmington is doing, even 109 years later. African American Heritage Foundation member John Hailey said, "If you look at the participants the walkers they are all ages, sexes and races, and I think it's a true opportunity to heal, and reconcile our differences over time." Times have changed but many participants say they will keep walking every anniversary to keep the spirits of the victims of the Race Riot alive.
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