HAMLET — In celebration of Black History Month, Richmond Community College will screen excerpts next week from a film directed by Laurinburg filmmaker Christopher Everett.
Everett’s current project, Wilmington on Fire, is tagged “A massacre kept secret for over 100 years. Now the truth will finally be revealed.”
Richmond Community College’s Global Diversity Committee will present a clip from the feature documentary from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday the Cole Auditorium on the College’s main campus in Hamlet.
“I’ve always had a love for researching and learning more about African-American history, especially history that is rarely discussed or talked about,” said Everett. “That was one of the main reasons I decided to do a film on the 1898 Massacre in Wilmington, N.C. I really wanted to make a film from the perspective of the African-American victims and also how the Coup plotters were able to pull of this horrific event that changed the course of American history forever.”
The Wilmington Massacre was a bloody Nov. 10, 1898 attack on the African-American community by a heavily armed white mob with the support of the North Carolina Democratic Party.
Considered one of the only successful examples of a coup d’état in the United States, the massacre left countless African-Americans dead and exiled from the city. It was a springboard for the white supremacy movement and Jim Crow segregation throughout the state of North Carolina and the American South.
“I want this film to really engage and start dialogue on this history along with current race relations not only in Wilmington and throughout North Carolina, but all over America,” Everett said.
“Wilmington on Fire” gives a compelling historical and present day look at how the violent overthrow of an existing government not only cemented white supremacy in the city of Wilmington and the state of North Carolina but also throughout the United States of America.
Everett graduated from Scotland High School in 2001 and studied design at King’s College in Charlotte. Following a string of commercials and shorts, “Wilmington on Fire” is his first feature-length project. The documentary has previously been screened at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington and at universities and theaters throughout the state.
Everett will close Tuesday’s showing at Richmond Community College with a 20-minute question-and-answer session.
The screening is free and open to all interested in a glimpse at an oft-ignored page in the book of North Carolina’s history.