When white supremacists overthrew a government

The hidden history of an American takeover.

Correction at 7:23: Cynthia’s ancestors lived in Wilmington, not her descendants.

In November 1898, in Wilmington, North Carolina, a mob of 2,000 white males ejected black and white governmental leaders, demolished the owned by the city’s black residents, and killed dozens–if not hundreds–of folks. How did such a turn of events change the course of the city? For decades, the tale of this cruelty was buried, while the perpetrators were cast as heroes. Yet its impacts resonate across the state to this day.

In the new Vox series Missing Chapter, Vox Senior Producer Ranjani Chakraborty revisits underreported and regularly neglected moments from the past to give context to the present. Join her as she covers the histories that are regularly skipped over of our textbooks. Our first season tackles tales of racial injustice, governmental conflicts, even the hidden history of US medical experimentation.

Have a thought for a tale that Ranjani should explore for Missing Chapter? Send it to her via this form!
Sign up for the Missing Chapter publication to remain up to speed with the series: https://vox.com/missing-chapter

For more perusing, check out the links below:

The final report from the state commission on 1898 Wilmington: https://www.ncdcr.gov/learn/resources-topic/1898-wilmington-race-riot-commission

An in-depth documentary about the events of 1898: http://wilmingtononfire.com/about

The News and Observer’s recent coverage of 1898: https://www.newsobserver.com/article192293519.html and https://media2.newsobserver.com/content/media/2010/5/3/ghostsof1898.pdf

Investigate the full Missing Chapter playlist, which includes episodes, a creator Q&A, and more!
Vox.com is a news web site that helps you cut through the noise and comprehend what is truly driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.


  1. I’m so excited to share this series with you all! If you have an idea for a story that we should investigate for Missing Chapter, send it to us via this form! http://bit.ly/2RhjxMy

    And if you want some of our top tips for how associate producer Melissa Hirsch and I prep for field reported stories like this one, then check out our Video Lab extra coming Friday. You can sign up to join right here: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership

    Cheers — Ranjani

  2. Racistas são um tipo de humanos bestiais.

  3. Mehmet Akif Aydoğdu

    I’m so glad I’m not an American

  4. Interesting how you gloss over that ridiculous statement that it’s ok to say bad things about democrats because the parties were opposite back then. It was progressives in the mid-1900s that created and ran the FHA which segregated cities and suburbs. It was progressives that protected unions which created barriers for black people to enter the industrial workforce. It was progressives who, after holding black people down for 100 years, made them dependent on the government to guarantee votes.

  5. It’s not when, it’s already happening right now.

  6. The violent overthrow of a democratically elected government? Ummmmmmmm….. Low-key I thought that that was America’s modus operandi

  7. Sounds like America has not moved on from the past. Trump knows this and is using the same tactics. Only that this time social media and news media is not helping tell the truth. I doubt United States citizens will ever learn and another 4 more years of the orange umpa lumpa is coming. Hopefully he doesn’t do what Chinas president did and stays in office indefinitely. Don’t think it’s possible? Same people who create laws can alter them because people elect out of fear and not facts, no one watches c-span lol that’s the start where all of our rights will be taken away. The more republicans in office the worse our rights will get. There’s no more balance and republicans are the New Democrats of our Times. This is sad that society as a whole could of been more advanced: a utopia , yet the United States is making sure Maria and colored people don’t don’t get a fair share in life.

  8. This is more proof white men fears Gods orginal creation. Sadly to say their behavior set a course for their descendants to pay for everything they did.

  9. Please let everyone take a moment to think about the slavery that is going on today in Africa right now, prayfor these people human trafficking is real and every where it has not ended.

  10. Democrats are just as racist today as they were then.

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