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The Only Real Coup d’état in US History



The Prompt:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ght.” Find a word that contains the letters “ght” in that order, and use it any way you’d like. Bonus points if you use three or more different words containing those letters. Have fun!    (From Linda G. Hill)

The Stream:

Fight or flight. I’m Sooooooo glad I’m not in that mode much anymore. It can be addicting and distracting from what we really need to focus on. But sometimes, it is warranted, a matter of survival.

In 1898 in the city I live in, the only successful coup d’état in US history took place.  People had to run for their lives because of the color of their skin. Yesterday, I attended a ceremony to unveil a historical marker to to remember what took place.

1898 Memorial Marker

It was surprisingly cold yesterday at the ceremony. But there was a good crowd. Ten names were read of the people who were known to be murdered in the coup. But we will never know how many people were killed.

Why is it important that we remember this coup, sometimes called a massacre? We need to know it happened to understand the history of our city, to understand the pain passed on through generations, and work to not let it happen again.

In 1898, Wilmington was a model city of restoration. African American owned businesses flourished as did diversity in government and the press. I imagine a city, a country, a world, where we work together and cooperatively in diversity and peace.

I thought I was going to write about my own move toward peace. I guess that’s where it starts. At least we need to work toward inner peace as we work toward peace with others.  We can do both.  It’s not always smooth, in reality, it can be hard work, but peace is possible.

You can read more about yesterday’s ceremony and the history here.

There is also an excellent novel, Cape Fear Rising, including the history which I read a few years ago.

I just want to add, getting back to “fight or flight,” that the African Americans involved in the 1898 massacre did not fight, they did not riot, they mostly fled for their lives. Now, there are different ways of fighting racism and injustice so that we can move forward together in peace and diversity.

The Info:

For more on SoCS, visit our host, Linda Hill at:

The Rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

29 thoughts on “The Only Real Coup d’état in US History

  1. Wonderful tribute in our remembering, and it also shows us the connections we have in those instincts that drive humans into that flight or fight mode..
    We are all of us evolving, growing, in that we now are beginning more and more to open our hearts and not always react with our heads.. Sometimes we just have to get a grip on our thinking and how we learn to express ourselves, often we are driven with the passions inherent within us to respond in flight or fight mode..
    When our heart kicks in, truly kicks in, we begin to see the human responses that have long been programmed within us into making us take sides, causing us to label and judge..
    When we truly open our heart, exploring our own inner sanctum of creativity we open up the harmonies, those harmonic frequencies of balance and peace..
    Both you and I dear JoAnna are I think delving deeper into our creative sides and with it comes peace.. and understanding..

    While we look back on these sad past events that have caused trauma and wounds,, We also understand that we, the world is carrying its past traumatic wounds we have each inflicted onto ourselves..
    This time around we are letting them go.. and with that letting go comes our inner peace..

    Only when we each find our own inner peace will we reflect it out into the world for harmony to once again find its balance..
    All things, even these traumatic events have led us to discover who we are..

    I only hope we learn soon that lesson, and embrace peace..

    Much love my friend.. And thank you Soooo, so much for your kind support and patience in my own absence..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue ❤

    • You are very welcome for the support and patience. I know what you’re up to: good stuff. I could say the same to you since it sometimes takes me a while to catch up. But it always seems like I read your posts exactly when I need them most. Thank you for recognizing that recognizing a historical event with direct honesty is part of healing past trauma. We first have face it squarely, though it can be a process getting there. I’m hoping that the diversity in the group that showed up for Friday’s unveiling helped us all. One thing that I didn’t mention in the post that I just remembered is that I felt the presence of someone or ones who were killed in the 1898 massacre and that they felt pleased by our recognition. This may sound strange to some, but I’ve occasionally felt the presence of someone who has passed beyond this life. It’s often been joyful, satisfying or quietly exhilarating. Thank you for bringing this back to my awareness. Much love to you, dear friend. Love and Blessings. ❤

      • This doesn’t sound strange to me at all JoAnna.. and in your recognising that passed presence you have acknowledged them and this is a joyful exchange for both parties..
        Sending continued love and I hope you are still enjoying your art.. I have yet to catch up there..

  2. Love this! Thanks for sharing the history with all of us. I love that they’ve put up a historical marker to start the process of shining a light on these dark corners.

    • Thanks for appreciating this with me, Laura. There is another marker erected for Alex Manly who was the African American owner of the newspaper office they burned down in 1898, but it referred to “race riots” which was not accurate. This was massacre and a coup.

  3. It makes me so sad what was done to blacks in America and how so much history was buried and untold for so long. May there be great healing and those wrongs never repeat.

  4. JoAnna, thanks for sharing this slice of history with us and your message of working towards a peaceful coexistence. Keeping the masses, the 99 Percent, divided is the greatest weapon of the minority power elite. Until we can all awaken to that reality, peace will remain an ideal to continually strive for, yet never fully attain.

  5. I just wish we could get beyond racism 🙁

    • Deep sigh. Me, too. We can do what we can, but it does seem to infect more people than I once realized. We have come so far with technology. One would think we’d be further along in social and ethical realms.

  6. Sadly, it would seem that we do not learn the lessons of history. Very good post, and you did the three ‘ght’ words, so you get a ⭐

  7. I was not aware of this history and I just clicked on the link. It is shocking that something like this could occur, terrible. But it is important that the history is brought into the light and not forgotten.

  8. Thank you for sharing that history with us. In regards to the fight or flight, I’m currently undergoing EMDR therapy to rewire my amygdala to stop going into flight mode when public speaking!

    • Good for you! Instead of flight mode, what mode will you be in? Maybe confident and informative mode.

      • That’s the plan. Hasn’t kicked in yet. Went to an open mic the other night and all I did was read one of my essays, staring at the paper the whole time. Still trembled and turned bright red. So, I made myself get up there a second time to see if it was less scary, which is slightly was. So, I’m just going to keep doing it till it happens.

        • “Speak your truth even if your voice shakes,” has been attributed to Maggie Kuhn among others. Real courage is when you’re scared and do it anyway. I’ve done some public speaking over the years. It does get easier over time, but I’m still a little nervous in front of new groups. It often helps to think about a person who my words can help. You don’t know which person that will be, but she or he is out there. Keep on speaking your truth and taking care of you, too.

  9. Wow…powerful and moving post Joanna! It hardly makes sense in my mind the way we, as HUMANS, can’t recognize that we are all the same. It does not matter the color of our skin. But history paints a picture that is so damaging. We created the divide and I suspect that every step forward helps us to heal…but it blows my mind how much we have to do. It seems we have taken some backwards steps and that is sad. But we all contribute…and by sharing this post you have moved us forward.
    I hope you are well! 💜

  10. An important share, JoAnna.

    • Thanks, Joey. When I was watching the movie, Harriet, I realized how much it helped me to understand how it’s still hard for black and brown people to trust white people. The 1898 massacre adds to this understanding. I think the memorial can lead to further healing.

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