Incredible, isn't it? And no, I didn't learn about this in history class. How about you?
TPM has more about these incidents here:
In November 1898, white supremacist forces in Wilmington, North Carolina planned and executed the only coup d’etat in American history, overthrowing the city’s democratically elected Fusion Party officials and installing their own officials in their stead. Over the subsequent days, in a similarly and concurrently orchestrated series of events, rampaging mobs, featuring both white Wilmingtonians and members of militias from around the state, attacked and brutalized the city’s African American community, murdering many residents, forcing most of the others to abandon their homes and community, and burning much of it to the ground.
Members of that African American community tried to tell the rest of the nation what was happening, as exemplified by an anonymous woman who wrote a desperate plea to President McKinley requesting federal protection (her letter went unanswered). But it was instead the white supremacists whose version of the story became the nationally accepted one, a process that began immediately and culminated a few weeks later when Alfred Waddell, a former Confederate officer and one of the supremacist leaders, wrote “The Story of the Wilmington, N.C., Race Riots” for the popular publication Collier’s. Waddell’s story, accompanied by H. Ditzler’s cover illustration of marauding armed African Americans, led to the designation of the coup and massacre as a “race riot,” a description that has continued to this day.
The decades after Wilmington saw many more such massacres: Atlanta in 1906, Springfield (Illinois) in 1908, East St. Louis (also Illinois) in 1917, Chicago in 1919, Tulsa in 1921, and Detroit in 1943, among others. While there were certainly unique details in each case, the fundamental story remained the same: rampaging white mobs destroying business and homes and brutalizing citizens of the cities’ African American communities. In Tulsa, as in Wilmington, the mob mounted a machine gun on a vehicle and rolled it through the streets, firing at will. And in each case, in both the contemporary national media coverage and the subsequent historical accounts of the massacres, they were consistently (if not indeed solely) described as “race riots.”
I never heard a word about any of that when I went to school. Indeed, when it came to the Civil War, the Confederacy was romanticized.
They say the victors write the history books. Going by that, who really won the Civil War?