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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Blacks and whites joined together at the 1898 Memorial for “Reverse the Curse,” a city-wide prayer march to remember the Wilmington race riots of 1898.

“It was during a chilly morning in November of 1898 that Wilmington’s downtown streets were filled with the blood of its innocent African American citizens.”

Local churches teamed up with “Boots on the Ground” in hopes of bringing the community together by reflecting on the past. They led a march from the memorial through the streets of Wilmington, following the path government leaders took during the riot.

“Although much progress has been made since 1898, many Wilmington churches and communities still remain segregated.”

Organizers say poverty, drug addiction, violence, murder, and gang activity are all rooted in the racial past of history. They say the community cannot rely on its government leaders to fix these issues. Organizers instead encourage the community to count on God and each other.

“We are releasing God’s spirit in Wilmington,” said Christian supporter Neil Blake. “We are asking him to drive out the spirits that are controlling murder and all of the greed and things like that.”

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15 Comments on "‘Reverse the Curse’ remembers the past in hopes of changing the future"

2015 years 10 months ago

What a gigantic relief it must be to hear that the “poverty, drug addiction, violence, murder, and gang activity” in today’s black community are actually “all rooted in the racial past”. The more times one repeats that distorted mantra, the fewer times one has to look in the mirror and take any real responsibility for what’s actually going on right now. Why put any effort into really changing things for the better when it’s so much more convenient to march around and remind everyone for the gazillionth time about a race riot that happened over 115 years ago. We all know that was terribly wrong. That doesn’t give today’s community a free pass on not making a constructive effort to truly fix things instead of simply mouthing “feel good” platitudes.

This kind of thing reminds me of the “new math” that was around not too long ago. It wasn’t about whether little Johnny got the answer right on the math problem; it was about how he “felt” about the answer he gave. That’s the kind of logic that ends up in a tragedy when a designing engineer gets his math wrong when building a bridge.

Regardless of whether it’s structural engineering or social engineering, this type of “feel good” philosophy will inevitably result in a disaster.

2015 years 10 months ago

I wish that the people of Wilmington would quit perpetuating the myth concerning the 1898 incident. Any pre-revisionist writings will show what really happened. It is a crying shame that the city “leaders” decided to ignore the truth and instead added fuel to the flame.

2015 years 10 months ago

“Releasing God’s spirit” … “to drive out the spirits that are controlling murder and all of the greed and things like that.”

Lie wow dude! That is sooo meaningful. Like especially the “things like that” stuff. “That” must be referring to all of the bad karma in the universe. Like wow, you saying all of that cool stuff is going to make sooo much difference.

Think I’ll go out now and hug a tree, or join a drum circle, or barf. Whatever.

2015 years 10 months ago

do your marching through places like Creekwood where you might have a positive impact? But then you might not feel all warm and fuzzy.

2015 years 10 months ago

Wonder what would happen if white folks started “remembering” the race riots of the ’70s in downtown Wilmington. Yes, we should all learn from the mistakes of the past, but when you continue to pick at the scabs, the wounds never heal.

2015 years 10 months ago

It shouldn’t be. It also shouldn’t be brought up as a cause célèbre every month or so. That, my “Intelligent 1” friend is overkill.

Overkill creates divisiveness.

Intelligent 1
2015 years 10 months ago

The problem is this wasn’t a race riot. In 1898 white racists overthrew a democratically elected interracial council. White racists burned down the black owned newspaper and killed many people. Why? Should that history be hidden. Wilmington citizens are very very racist judging by comments on this page everyday.

2015 years 10 months ago

the past is gone! we have enough troubles without stirring
up more racial unrest. look toward the future. the past cannot be changed.

Bill P
2015 years 10 months ago

Heard this all my life. It rolls off like water on a ducks back now.

2015 years 10 months ago

“It was during a chilly morning in November of 1898 that Wilmington’s downtown streets were filled with the blood of its innocent African American citizens.”

And now it almost everyday a black person has filled the streets with the blood of innocent AMERICAN citizens.

Guestof Wind
2015 years 10 months ago

I think the idea of bringing the faith community together to talk or pray about stopping the violence is a great idea. But a prayer march for something that happened over 100 years ago? The recent violence doesn’t have one thing to do with race. How is one prayer march on a Saturday morning going to curtail violence in this city? Folks are waiting on God to do something? He’s waiting for them. I’m all for unity, but do something a little better than gather around a statue, marching down the street waving flags and trying to bring about a charismatic style revival. How about these churches actually going into the communities on a regular basis and engaging with the people, without trying to convert them.

2015 years 10 months ago

I was very blessed to see the joining together of this community in an effort to ask God to move in our city! The unity that was displayed by these folks in an effort to show that the walls between colors/cultures can be broken! It is the kind of news I want to see about our city instead of all the things that are horrifying….to send the kind of message to others that there is hope and love out there, that there are people who care about them without agendas. The love of Christ is a very present powerful thing and is exactly what this city needs to be able to overcome the darkness that has become so common place in our town. I applaud these news channels for taking the time to report on such a positive event taking place.
There is hope for all of us and that hope is in our Lord Jesus Christ! He is the one who can turn our town,county,state and country around, if only we as a people take the time to pray and seek His face!!

Sharon r
2015 years 10 months ago

Past, present, and future…God must be acknowledged in the city….all the negative comments only shows who the foolish truly are….forgiveness and restoration are the building blocks of positive change…God has his on “Gang” on the streets fighting evil!….whose side are you on? Stand up and be counted!

Guest of Wind
2015 years 10 months ago

God is acknowledged in this city, NHC has around 500 churches. Plus many believers who don’t attend a church. The problem is those churches are like mini-bubbles where everyone is comfortable in their own little building, they don’t get out and interact with people in a normal way. When they do get out- it is the only focus of trying to convert someone to the faith. The other posters comments aren’t foolish, they present reality. I’m sorry but one prayer march isn’t going to change anything, because at the end of the day, people will go back into their churches, and mark the next big charismatic shindig on the calender and life will be the same as it ever was. I applaud and affirm the idea of racial unity and healing, but you’ve got a lot of work ahead if you want to see change in the community. One march isn’t going to do.

2015 years 10 months ago

Please stop putting this stuff out in public. All it does is make the black americans agitated and they try to blame everything on this sort of history. I wasn’t there and had nothing to do with it and neither did you. Can’t rely on government officials to fix these problems. Really? Seems like WWAY is trying to stir up the black population. What do you want? Another black / white war? Sounds like you are stirring the pot.


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