Klansville, U.S.A

Klansville, U.S.A

The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-era Ku Klux Klan

Book - 2013
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In the 1960s, on the heels of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision and in the midst of the growing Civil Rights Movement, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed, reaching an intensity not seen since the 1920s, when the KKK boasted over 4 million members. Most surprisingly, the state with thelargest Klan membership - more than the rest of the South combined - was North Carolina, a supposed bastion of southern-style progressivism.Klansville, U.S.A. is the first substantial history of the civil rights-era KKK's astounding rise and fall, focusing on the under-explored case of the United Klans of America (UKA) in North Carolina. Why the UKA flourished in the Tar Heel state presents a fascinating puzzle and a window into thecomplex appeal of the Klan as a whole. Drawing on a range of new archival sources and interviews with Klan members, including several state and national leaders, the book uncovers the complex logic of KKK activity. David Cunningham demonstrates that the Klan organized most successfully where whitesperceived civil rights reforms to be a significant threat to their status, where mainstream outlets for segregationist resistance were lacking, and where the policing of the Klan's activities was lax. Moreover, by connecting the Klan to the more mainstream segregationist and anti-communist groupsacross the South, Cunningham provides valuable insight into southern conservatism, its resistance to civil rights, and the region's subsequent dramatic shift to the Republican Party.Klansville, U.S.A. illuminates a period of Klan history that has been largely ignored, shedding new light on organized racism and on how political extremism can intersect with mainstream institutions and ideals.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2013
ISBN: 9780199752027
Characteristics: xiv, 337 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm


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May 02, 2015

The FBI also started watching Jones and the Klan more closely, relying on informants such as Dorsett, the state chaplain who became suspicious of Jones’ handling of finances.

Congress also got involved, and when Jones and other Klan leaders invoked the Fifth Amendment while testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee in October 1965, their actions were resented by the rank-and-file back home who associated invoking the Fifth as something communists would do.

They started wondering what Jones had to hide.

Jones eventually went to prison in March 1969 after being found guilty on contempt charges for refusing to provide the Klan’s financial records to Congress. He served his short sentence in a federal prison in Connecticut.

May 02, 2015

In 1925, some 50,000 Klan members gathered for a rally in Washington, D.C., and at its height, the Klan claimed a membership of 4 million, said to have helped in the election of at least 10 governors.

By the early 1960s, there was a class of lower-income whites — people such as Bob Jones — who felt as though they weren’t being represented. In North Carolina, they viewed state leaders as not resisting the moves toward integration strongly enough. They also feared they were being left behind, while blacks were progressing and moving into jobs that used to be or should have been theirs.


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May 02, 2015

Not the horrific KKK eras before 1930 but focused on the rise of the North Carolina chapter of KKK headed by Bob Jones during 1960's, a turbulent times of JFK/MLK/LBJ, school desegregation and civil right movements. Important history lessons with many undercurrent issues we must understand, learn and adress.


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