American Heritage Tours

Introduction...

Cobblestone and brick-lined streets, magnolias and live oaks, mansions and old churches, the river and the railroad, the Cotton Exchange and Chandler's Wharf - all hearken back to an era of gracious Southern living from days gone by.

But intertwined with the prosperity enjoyed by many are the struggles and hardships of the African American Community

No tour of Wilmington is complete without exploring the history of its African American citizens. Some are stories of everyday lives; some are so profound they changed American History

Black Wilmingtonians in 1898 enjoyed a remarkable degree of social, economic, and political equality. In addition to overthrowing a legally elected government, the Coup d etat of 1898 emboldened white supremacists, becoming a catalyst for "Jim Crow" and disenfranchisement laws nationwide.

Althea Gibson lived in Wilmington with Dr. Hubert Easton, Sr. and his family, graduating form high school and training on the grass court at his home. She broke the color barrier in tennis, becoming the first black to play at the U.S. National and Wimbledon, winning both twice.

Dr. Eaton was later instrumental in the desegregation of Wilmington Schools. In the resulting climate of racial unrest and violence, the conviction of the Wilmington 10 brought notoriety to the city as many considered the men to be political prisoners. Amnesty International took up the case, and a 60 minutes broadcast suggested evidence had been fabricated. Their convictions were later overturned. Hear the stories, see the sites with us.

American Heritage Tours

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