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Ku Klux Klan

Begun before the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was a secret terrorist movement and organization that sought to guarantee white supremacy. Dressed in white sheets and conical hats and hoods, KKK members murdered and pillaged the property primarily of blacks but also of non-Protestants, immigrants and political opponents. They were notorious for their cross burnings. The Klan’s membership grew into the millions and included governors, congressmen, presidents and other elites. The KKK’s violent crimes usually went unpunished with some exceptions such as the bombing and four deaths at Birmingham’s Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Associated Archive Content : 98 results

The Lynching Tree

Jerry Peace writes the poem "The Lynching Tree" which illustrates the pain involved with lynching black people.

The Nation: Hammer of Civil Rights

This article by Dr. King appeared in the March 9, 1964, edition of The Nation. Dr. King discusses the impetus for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations' commitment to the cause. Recognizing the complexity of such a political movement, King lauds the President Johnson for fighting off attempts to weaken the bill. King also recognizes the achievements of the Fair Employment Committee, established by President Kennedy and headed by then-Vice President Johnson, in providing employment opportunities for many southern Negroes.

The New Leader: MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail

The New Leader, a New York-based biweekly magazine, published Dr. King?s Letter from Birmingham City Jail. This historic piece is a response to the views of some fellow clergymen that Dr. King's methods are both "unwise and untimely.? King's critics had branded him an "outside agitator" and an extremist who should not be advocating lawbreaking. Dr. King responds with this letter and references prominent historical figures to counter these criticisms.

U.S. Reds Fan Racist Flames To Stir Vietnam War Protest

William F. Buckley, a conservative columnist, decries the involvement of Negro leaders such as Dr. King and Stokely Carmichael n a recent Vietnam War protest. He compares Carmichael with members of the Ku Klux Klan, and he also alleges Communist involvement with the protest.

Unwise and Untimely?

This pamphlet from the Fellowship of Reconciliation features a letter written from eight Alabama Clergymen to Dr. King. The Clergymen express their discontent with the movement and Dr. King brings forth a response. The response is later known as one of Dr. King's famous texts, "Letter from Birmingham City Jail." The pamphlet also includes Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech from the 1963 March on Washington.

Wave of Violence Against Blacks

This pamphlet produced by the NAACP, New York Branch, begins with the discussion of a controversial statement made by Senator James Eastland and its adverse affect of increased violence among blacks. Eastland attacked the Supreme Court's desegregation edict by stating, "You are not required to obey any court which passes out such a ruling. In fact, you are obligated to defy it." Newspaper clippings are shown with headlines that illustrate the violence, murder, bombings, and attacks blacks faced.

We are Still Walking

Dr. King describes how African Americans reacted to the Klan's plan to intimidate them after the decision of the Supreme Court. Although deeply involved in the bus protest, Dr. King stated that there were other goals to achieve such as establishing a bank and credit union in Montgomery for African Americans.

Why Integration Won't Slow Up

This article featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch is an extract from Dr. King's address at Cornell College. Dr. King discusses three attitudes that can be taken toward the question of progress in race relations: extreme optimism, extreme pessimism and the realistic position.

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