As I write this conclusion (Spring 2002), people in Wilmington are in the midst of heated debates, again centered on race. While these current debates have not the magnitude of earlier racial violence in this city, they do reflect an underlying tension that is not resolved. As one respondent, an African-American male, told me recently:

There is a truth to be told here. There are a lot of books out that told the history, but it doesn’t deal with the current-see there’s another massacre going on here. There’s a new one every time the calendar turns. The massacre in 1898 didn’t stop; it continued in ’99, 1900, 1902. This massacre has been going on now for 103 years, see, it didn’t begin and end in 1898. It’s an ongoing phenomenon that has a new twist every year. It’s the same thing but it’s dressed up. This year we’re going to spend the vast majority of our year talking about a woman who under normal circumstances would be recommended for counseling. We are going to keep this spin going for the rest of the year while HUD monies are being misappropriated, communities are decaying to the root, uh people are dying on our streets, uh, I mean it’s so irrelevant to what the real issues are and the real problems are. But once again it’s like I told you, it’s a tool, it’s a diversionary tool.