WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) –Alex Manly was the owner of The Daily Record newspaper in 1898 when it was burned down by white supremacists.
Now, 123 years later, descendants of Manly are still trying to piece together what happened on November 10, 1898.
“The real, real granular details, the real truth of it — it’s been an ongoing experience and process,” said Alex Manly’s great-great-grandson Kieran Haile.
Haile has had a vague understanding of the 1898 Massacre since he was a teenager, but it wasn’t until about five years ago when he was nearing his 30′s that he really started to take a deep dive into history and learn more about this horrific day.
“And so, from that point I just started writing and reaching out and trying to find what I could,” Haile said. “It’s not just something that happened in a vacuum and we can move on about it. There’s real families, not just mine — several, many even within my family, several, several individuals who are affected by this act in the racial violence of this time and place.”
Manly escaped town before the white supremacists could kill him, and he never returned to Wilmington. But Haile is grateful that people are returning to this tragedy and taking the time and effort to understand what happened.
“It’s not just happening in my head or just happening to me, but it was a thing, and it is a thing that people can still reflect on and connect to. So, that’s gratifying, honestly, to know that it’s not just me talking about this anymore,” Haile said. He also noted that over the past 123 years our country has experienced a lot of change, but said there is still a ways to go.
“It’s ongoing work and I do appreciate the work that’s been done and is being done, but it’s far from over and far from being corrected or represented properly,” Haile said.
For more information about the events that happened in 1898, click here.
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