“According to the historian David S. Cecelski, presenting [Alfred] Waddell as a righteous campaigner for ‘sobriety and peace’ was standard in Wilmington until the 1990s. ‘I grew up in a small town in eastern North Carolina 90 miles from Wilmington,’ Cecelski says. ‘I had a book in my middle-school classroom that listed the 12 greatest North Carolinians ever. It included the Wright brothers, Virginia Dare, and then it included three of the people who were the leaders of the white supremacy campaign.
“North Carolina whites [circa 1900] often used the image of African-Americans wearing eyeglasses to play on the white supremacist envy of their audiences. Since many poor whites could not afford glasses and could not read or write so had no need for them, the image elicited a wide range of resentments.”
— From “Gender and Jim Crow: Women and the Politics of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1896-1920” by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore (1996)