Hugh MacRae Park sign covered with one honoring Wilmington 1898 figure

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A sign reading "Alexander Manly Park" was draped over the entrance sign to Hugh MacRae Park on June 29, 2020. (Photo: Matt Born/StarNews)

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNews) — Protesters seeking to change the name of Hugh MacRae Park got more specific with their message on Monday.

A vinyl sign reading “Alexander Manly Park” was draped over the main entrance sign to the New Hanover County park Monday morning, the latest attempt to call attention to the troubled history behind the park’s namesake.

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Alexander Manly was the editor of The Daily Record, the state’s only daily Black-run newspaper, in 1898 when a mob of white supremacists burned down its offices after Manly wrote an editorial taking issues with stereotypes of Black men after several were lynched.

Manly had fled the town before the mob reached the Daily Record offices, but the men didn’t stop there. They then marched into the African-American community, which was prospering in Wilmington at the time, and killed an untold number of residents. Ultimately, they overthrew the local government, making it the nation’s only successful coup d’etat.

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