History books are filled with narrow misses. Such was the case in North Carolina, when one white farmer with huge political power missed the opportunity to join a multi-racial movement for democracy. Had he heard the cries of his neighbors, who knows what possibility could have been born?
A lesson from 19th century North Carolina: Lost cause, lost opportunity
By: Greg Jarrell
Sid Alexander had the option to choose against racism. He lived in a crucial moment. He had meaningful power. He had opportunity to break decisively and publicly with a resurgent white supremacy movement. But Sid could not rise to the occasion.
The year was 1888. The memories of Reconstruction were still fresh, although the country had taken numerous steps back toward entrenched white supremacy since those days. Sid had participated in the armed insurrection in defense of slavery and, as a Confederate officer, had paid a small price for his participation. By 1888, he had seen a new chapter in economic exploitation.