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Education Updates and Features

WCE Faculty Share Scholarship on Wilmington’s 1898 History

Thursday, September 02, 2021

WCE faculty members Cara Ward, Donyell Roseboro and Denise Ousley-Exum co-presented with Lisa Buchanan of Elon University at the 4th Annual Teaching Black History Conference in July. Carter Center’s conference brings together educators who seek transformative and engaging ways to teach PK-12 Black history in both history and humanities courses.

The title of the presentation was “Examining the Racial Violence, Coup, and Economic Impact of the 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre.”

The session focused on using a history lab and children’s literature to learn about 1898 and the lasting impacts with grades 4 through 8. An interdisciplinary, place-based experience at Pine Forest Cemetery in Wilmington, NC was used to examine 1898 with grades 9 through 12. Buchanan, Ward, Roseboro and Ousley-Exum have provided a number of teacher professional development sessions around the Wilmington Race Massacre and teaching social studies; this session is part of their larger body of scholarship around teaching 1898.

Two journal articles on the topic authored by Ward and Buchanan were published in August:

Teaching the 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre using the History Lab Model was published in the NJCSS Journal Teaching Social Studies on August 6. The article discusses the teaching of racial violence in the United States, explores how Black historical principles of power and oppression can frame the study of events of racial violence, and outlines a concrete history lab designed to study the 1898 Wilmington Race Massacre (also commonly called the Wilmington Coup or Wilmington Insurrection).

Memorializing whiteness in state standards and local history: A critical sociohistorical consciousness analysis of The Coup of 1898 and Southern racial violence was published by Taylor & Francis Group in the journal Whiteness and Education on August 9.

This paper examines the historical and modern treatment of the Wilmington Coup of 1898, a series of acts of Southern racialized violence that occurred in a coastal city in the Southern United States in fall of 1898. Using a critical sociohistorical consciousness framework, the authors analyze state standards and historical documents to identify the underpinnings of racism in the dominant narratives of the event, local commemoration of conspirators, and resulting economic inequalities. They then discuss how whiteness has influenced standards writing and the erection of community memorials related to 1898. Implications for curriculum standards, teacher education, and K-12 classrooms are provided.

Ward is an adjunct faculty member in WCE’s Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle, Literacy and Special Education (EEMLS) and Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education (ITFSE) departments. Roseboro UNCW’s Interim Chief Diversity Officer and a professor in the ITFSE department. Ousley-Exum is an associate professor and coordinator of WCE’s secondary education program. Buchanan is an associate professor in the Watts Williams School of Education at Elon University.

Related News Article Featuring Cara Ward

WECT, June 6, 2020 - Teaching hard history: Educators prepare to cover emotional, controversial history in the classroom