My obsession with the Klan

In Education, Encouragement, R[evol]ution, Somewhat disjointed rant... on February 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

You read that right. And, yes. I DO mean THAT Klan. The Ku Klux Klan. I find it/them fascinating. Since my days at Agnes Scott College, I have been doing primary and secondary research on the history of the Klan. Some people find it odd that I (a reasonably sane Black woman from the South) actively search for ways to research and write about the Klan.

They stand for death, for hatred, for an era that most would care to forget, and for attitudes that many wish did not exist. That is precisely why I research the Klan. In touching their old literature, in viewing their brutal pictures, in reading accounts of their ghastly activities: I feel that I have faced the ugliness of the past and it has not and will not destroy me. I have pulled the sheets away and revealed the ghost to be little more than humans cowering behind the color of their skin. I have exposed the deathly underbelly of the American identity, but I still believe that there is room in this country for justice.

For Black Southerners, the Klan is a resonantly eerie and threatening reminder of how far this country has come in terms of race relations and how far this country has yet to go. Yet, in my heart while I research and while I write, I recognize that I am. Regardless of their marches, their parades, their lynchings, their beatings, their violent words, and their threats: I exist as a mixed-up conglomeration of brown-ness. That hatred does not negate my existence. That ugliness does not change the beauty of my own family’s history.


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