Ku Klux Klan

Author Sharon Draper has been writing award-winning young adult fiction for years. 

Bob Jones, leader of the N.C. KKK, April 1965
Bruce Roberts / The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

At one time North Carolina had more Ku Klux Klan members than all other the states combined, even though the state was seen as more racial progressive than others in the South.

The PBS documentary series American Experience explores this idea with its latest episode, Klansville U.S.A.

Callie Wiser is the film's director. She talked with Phoebe Judge about the rise and fall of the KKK in North Carolina:

Interview highlights:

On April 13, 2014, former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross pulled into a Jewish Community Center and ambushed a grandfather and grandson, killing both. He then killed another woman a short distance away.

What does the family left behind do when they are thrust into a national spotlight? How do they figure out what to disclose and what should be private?

Will Corporon knows - he lost his father and nephew to the violence that day. Listen to his story:

KKK Parade and Rally Chapel Hill, NC June 15, 1987
Michael Galinsky

The pictures capture a day that many in Chapel Hill, NC would like to forget. White-hooded figures marching carefree down Franklin Street. It was the day the KKK came to town: June 15, 1987.

About 60 people took part in the march and membership rally. The event started in Durham and then progressed to Chapel Hill. Two thousand people lined the parade route; some to support the participants, others to heckle them. 

The Editor and the Dragon
south.unc.edu / Southern Oral History Program

A new film debuts on UNC-TV tonight, Thursday January 9th. "The Editor and The Dragon: Horace Carter Fights The Klan" tells the inside story of a man of courage, the journalist Horace Carter.

Filmmakers describe the story this way:

Derrick Ivey (Left) as C.P. Ellis and Lakeisha Coffery (Right) as Ann Atwater
manbitesdogtheater.org / Manbites Dog Theater

    

  In 1971, civil rights activist, Ann Atwater, and ku klux klan grand exalted cyclops, C.P. Ellis chaired a community meeting to handle violence in the recently desegregated Durham school system. And those meetings started a unexpected lifelong friendship between the two. A play by Mark St. Germain retells the story of this unlikely friendship in the play, Best of Enemies

The extremist literature collection is being prepared for scholarly use by the Rubenstein Library staff.
Duke University

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project has donated its collection of extremist literature – pamphlets and flyers issued by the KKK, neo-nazis, racist skinheads, border vigilantes, and neo-Confederates – to Duke’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The nearly 90-box collection will be housed there to allow scholarly research on the histories of extremist groups in the U.S.

Klansville USA
David Cunningham

North Carolina is widely considered one of the more progressive southern states. Acts of violence during the Civil Rights Era were rare, and the state was one of the few south of the Mason-Dixon line that went for President Barack Obama in 2008.

But during the Civil Rights Era, North Carolina had more members of the Ku Klux Klan than all other southern states combined.

A Johnston County Ku Klux Klan leader was convicted this week in a plot to kill the sheriff of his county. Gurnal Scott reports.

White Flour

May 25, 2012

Five years ago, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the town square of Knoxville, TN. Instead of responding to hatred with hatred, a group called the Coup Clutz Clowns responded with humor. When Klan members yelled, "White Power!” the clowns yelled back, "White Flour!".

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