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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A week after they marched through the streets following the same path government leaders took during the race riots of 1898, church leaders and members of the community joined together at the Central Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington.

Church leaders and members of the NC Black Leadership Caucus hosted a candlelight vigil to honor and remember the 1898 Massacre.

“The things that had to happen for us to get where we are, we should remember it,” said church member and minister Cynthia Smith. “But we should move forward and reverse the curse. Things have changed, people have changed.”

Organizers say poverty, violence, and murder can all be traced directly and indirectly to our Wilmington’s racial past.

“When you think about the affluence of the African Americans at that time and that affluence being taken by force, it has left a legacy of generational poverty in our community,” said New Beginning Christian Church Pastor Robert Campbell.

They hope remembering and learning from 1898 can bring the community together and “Reverse the Curse” once and for all.

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