GREENSBORO — City native and Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens has teamed with Come Hear North Carolina to pay tribute to victims of the 1898 Wilmington coup and massacre.
Giddens' performance was released Tuesday as part of In The Water, a live session series featuring North Carolina musicians performing in unique, meaningful locations throughout the state.
It's part of the state's Year of Music campaign.
Giddens, a MacArthur Genius Award recipient and Grammy Award-winning co-founder of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, is the latest North Carolina musician to take part in Come Hear NC's live session series In The Water.
Giddens also received the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award at the Americana Honors and Awards in Nashville this year, was featured prominently in Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary series and is a current Grammy nominee in the Best American Roots Performance category for her collaboration with the Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, as well as in the Best American Roots Song category for her work in the group Our Native Daughters.
Giddens' In The Water session follows performances from The Mountain Goats, Mary Lattimore and Vanessa Ferguson at unique and meaningful locations throughout the state.
She took Come Hear North Carolina to Wilmington, to share the forgotten stories from the town's 1898 coup and massacre.
The tragic events of that year saw a white supremacist mob take over the city of Wilmington, burn and destroy African American-owned businesses and take an untold number of African American lives.
Before the insurrection, Wilmington was considered to be one of the South's great examples of a city coming together in Reconstruction.
Watch Rhiannon's 'In The Water' session, featuring her performance of "At The Purchaser's Option" here:
Watch an extended version of her 'In The Water' session featuring the songs "Pretty Saro" (a traditional ballad taught to Rhiannon by N.C. Heritage Awardee Sheila Kay Adams) and "He Will See You Through" here:
In a news release, Giddens spoke of the importance of remembering the events of 1898: "It is so hard because things were working...They weren’t perfect but things were working....and for that to not be knocked down but completely destroyed, stamped out and then forgotten about, that’s just tragic. The people who died it was tragic – the fact that we don’t even know all who died is tragic...All of these things are tragic."