Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


History of the Ku Klux Klan, continued

StoryFebruary 17, 1997
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Narration by, Amy Goodman; commentary by historian William Rogers, Stetson Kennedy, and Professor Larry Rivers of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.

After the Civil War terror was officially sanctioned by lynch laws/Jim Crow
laws. The rights and property of Blacks were "legally" stolen.
Between 1880 and 1923, an African-American was lynched every two and a half days, 85-95% of the time for allegedly rape or encounters with women.

In 1915, the Klan re-emerged helped by D.W. Griffith’s "The Birth of A
Nation," which showed heroic Klansmen avenging the attack on a white girl by a Black man, "a sinister apelike negro beast." By the 1920s the Klan had "millions" of members throughout the U.S., boasting the control of several State legislatures as well as having members in both Houses of
Congress. Blacks were encouraged to migrate north, but found resistance and terror in northern cities, such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Tulsa.

On election day in 1920, the first year in which women could vote—there was systematic intimidation and violence against registered Black women voters. In Ocoee, Florida and the surrounding communities riots broke out; houses and churches were burned and black landowners July Perry and Mose Norman arrested; Perry was later killed along with some 35 others. This account is based, in part, on a report by Zora Neale Hurston who had gone to Washington in an effort to have the Ocoee riots and massacre removed from the "Florida Guide", which she and Stetson Kennedy had been working on together.

In 1940 Kennedy infiltrated the Klan to witness its activities. He
encouraged the FBI and the House Committee on Un-American Activities to
investigate; when they refused he took it to the media and broadcast the
minutes of the last Klan meeting naming judges and businessmen who were
involved in the Klan. The reaction was instantaneous. However, many
influential figures in politics remain sympathetic to the Klan, and the
myths surrounding its claim to fight for freedom remain largely

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation