Scholars do not dispute the essential facts about the racial violence that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, more than a hundred years ago, although interpretations of the event by the city's current residents reflect the racial divide that is their common heritage. On November 10, 1898, an armed mob of whites led by some of Wilmington's most respected and influential citizens destroyed the state's only daily African American newspaper by burning the building in which it was housed.
"The strumming of stringed instruments booms out through the PA, elaborate fiddle melodies erupt, followed by the soaring voice of the poet-practitioner, embracing those present, scanning the scene before him . . . drifting, shaping, moving verses that elicit a chorus of gritos."
“[T]his more complex tale of the origins of ‘Tar Heel’ shows that it is rooted in hard work by poor people, work that dirtied the bodies of both enslaved Africans and poor whites in the Piney Woods.”