Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Course Description

GLS 592: Race and Poverty

Instructors: Leslie Hossfeld (Sociology) and Irving Joyner (NC Central Law School)

This three credit course is designed to closely examine the history and circumstances which resulted in the 1898 Wilmington Race Rebellion and the overthrow of a legitimately elected municipal government in Wilmington, North Carolina. The course is being taught as a joint venture between the North Carolina Central University School of Law and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

During the Seminar, students will critically assess the impact of and repercussions of this event upon citizens of Wilmington and the State of North Carolina as well as any lingering vestiges which continue to impact the city and state. The ultimate goal of the Seminar is to develop remedial models which can be utilized to repair or remedy the impact of the rebellion and its after-effects.

The Seminar will be conducted two days each week over a five week period beginning May 17, 2007 and concluding on June 16, 2007. There will be two different type sessions conducted with a more theoretical and legal or historical background discussion which will be conducted on Thursday evenings and a Seminar/Workshop which will be conducted each Saturday. The Thursday night class sessions will be directed by Professor Irving Joyner and/or a faculty member from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and is designed to focus on an exploration of the legal, political or academic framework for that week's discussion. The Saturday Seminar/Workshop session will involve the use of outside speakers who will explore one or more aspects of the topics which will be studied during the seminar. Thursday sessions will be conducted from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. and the Saturday sessions will be conducted from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

It is anticipated that fifteen (15) to twenty (20) students will enroll in this seminar. In addition to participation in class discussions, student will be arbitrarily divided into four research and model development teams. Each team will cooperate in researching the current mood of the Wilmington community and the actual and perceived losses which resulted from the aftermath of the rebellion and developing one or more remedial models to address the vestiges of this event. These findings and models will be presented and defended by team members at a student-community forum to be held on June 16th. Research areas are (1) Political Development, (2) Economic Recovery, (3) Decedents Restoration and (4) Community Interaction. Students' grades will be based upon classroom participation, participation in the research and development of the remedial models and the quality of those models and forum presentations.

The major text for the seminar will be the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report and a course packet consisting of applicable constitutional provisions, statutes and other pertinent materials. Class attendance will be mandatory. During the seminar, students will be encouraged to invite guests to visit the class and will direct the organization and mobilization for the June 16th student-community forum.

The Proposed Schedule and Coverage:

May 17th Introductions, overview and discussion of Reconstruction Era Constitutional and Civil Rights Laws.

May 19th Historical perspective of the 1898 Wilmington Race Rebellion.

Proposed Speakers:

Ms. LeRae Umfleet, Author of 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report and North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

Professor Freddie Parker, North Carolina Central University History Department (A UNCW Professor of History can be substituted or added.)

May 24th Discussion of Political History of Wilmington and North Carolina during Reconstruction and "Jim Crow" Era.

May 26th Role of Political Organizations and their impact on African-American political participation in Wilmington and North Carolina resulting from 1898 Wilmington Race Rebellion

Proposed Speakers:

Dr. Jarvis Hall, North Carolina Central University Political Science Department and Director of NCCU Civic Engagement Initiative.

The Honorable G.K. Butterfield, Congressional Representative from Second Congressional District

The Honorable Thomas Wright, Co-Chairperson of 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission

The Honorable Julia Bozeman, Co-Chairperson of 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission

May 31st Discussion of Role of Religious, Social and Family structures during Reconstruction and "Jim Crow" Era in North Carolina

June 2nd Student Teams will use the day to conduct focus group sessions with Wilmington citizens to assess their views regarding the remedial models which the student teams are constructing. Maximum flexibility is allowed for student teams to identify participants and determine the method which they will use to obtain this input and participation. Participants should reflect the broad-based perspectives, views and philosophies of Wilmington citizens.

June 7th Discussion of Economic History of Wilmington and North Carolina during Reconstruction and "Jim Crow" Era.

June 9th Examination of Economic implications resulting from 1898 Wilmington Race Rebellion on African-Americans in Wilmington and North Carolina and possible remedial models

Proposed Speakers:

Dr. Sandy Darrity, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Economist and Sonya Stone Cultural Center

Ms. Andrea Harris, Director of North Carolina Minority Economic Development Council

Professor Jill Williams, Director of Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Mr. Larry Thomas, Author and Reparation's Proponent

June 14th Role and function of news media in promoting 1898 Wilmington Race Rebellion


Mr. Orage Quarles, Publisher of News and Observer

Mr. Cash Michaels, Editor of Raleigh Carolinian

June 16th Students' panel presentations and community discussion

Last Update: April 11, 2007