WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — More than one hundred years later, the memory of lives lost in the 1898 Wilmington Massacre were honored tonight.
Dozens filled Saint Andrews AME Zion Church in Wilmington to pay their respects to the victims.
The tragic event started on November 10, 1898 when white insurgents overthrew the elected government and forced black leaders out of the city.
The coup burned down the black newspaper, black businesses and damaged black neighborhoods.
Tuesday night, through song, prayers and words of encouragement, speakers shared that many blacks were shot and killed as they left work and others fled into swamps for safety, ultimately never returning.
“If it’s one, if it’s one hundred or one thousand, we should honor the lives of those unjustly taken,” St. Andrews AME Zion Church Pastor Henry Gregory said.
Participants heard from some of the descendants of the Wilmington Massacre and local Black Lives Matter activists, as well as pastors and community leaders.