North Carolina did not experience the waves of abuse of black veterans and lynching of black men that swept across the South and, with one notable exception, was spared the race riots that erupted elsewhere in the country at the end of the war. The exception occurred in Winston-Salem on November 17, 1918. A white female textile worker claimed she had been raped and beaten by black man. Police apprehended a suspect; an out-of-town vagrant, who protested his innocence. As was the pattern in such cases across a South, a white lynch mob converged on the jail intent on meting out their own rough justice. The beleaguered constables found an unusual and unwanted ally in a contingent of armed black men who rushed in to fend off the white mob. In the ensuing riot, five men were killed and several black businesses and homes were destroyed. The Forsyth County , bolstered by Home Guards from around the state, intervened after a few days to restore order. The black vagrant survived and was proven innocent.


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