Descendants of 1898 Wilmington Massacre victims gather in downtown to commemorate the event

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This Wednesday will mark 123 years since the Wilmington Massacre, which saw hundreds of African Americans killed or displaced by a mob of white supremacists.

Descendants of all parties gathered in Wilmington this afternoon to remember the events.

The ceremony was held near the site of the 1898 massacre memorial along North 3rd Street in Wilmington.

Crowds gathered to witness history, as numerous speakers with relation to the massacre victims shared stories and their hopes for a brighter future.

Once speaker said everyone has a connection to the historical 19th century event just by living in the Cape Fear.

“Even if your family wasn’t one of the ones directly impacted by the violence — people who perpetrated that violence, their children are here today,” Trey Walk with Equal Justice Initiative said. “People who stood by and were silent, their children are here today. We all inherited this history that we live with in our communities.”

The event concluded with a ceremony in which descendants of the massacre victims placed dirt from the massacre site into jars with names of those involved in the 1898 massacre.

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