Tuesday, August 9, 2011

They Called Themselves The K.K.K. by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

They Called Themselves The K.K.K. The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Currently there are over 900 active hate groups in the United States today.

A major hate group called The Ku Klux Klan began immediately after the Civil War in Tennessee and spread like wild fire throughout the Southern portion of the U.S.  The founders of the K.K.K. were Six Confederate officers from Tennessee who were disheartened and worried over Republican rule and the loss of their right to vote after the war.  They also were unhappy with the equal rights movement which constituted the 14th Amendment and wanted to go back to White majority rule in the South.
So these six men started a club.

So while the K.K.K. practiced hate and forced poor, illiterate white men to join, the black majority worked, learned to read and write and tried to use their rights as citizens to vote.  Many blacks faced violence, beatings, cruelty and even death by the hand of the K.K.K..  Once Johnson was out of power Grant was elected President and tried to limit the power of the K.K.K. in the South.

This is a very informative book that looks at all sides of the issue of Reconstruction and how it affected the White and Black majority living in the South.  This book explains how the K.K.K. was formed and its subsequent underground terrorism of Blacks and Whites who sympathized with them.  The artwork, political cartoons, with some by Thomas Nast, and pictures add greatly to the book.  As a Northerner, I now have a clearer understanding of the South's hatred and distrust of the North and the Southern fear of Republican rule and their ingrained societal racism of which we can still see the affects today.

They Called Themselves The K.K.K. contains valuable information for teachers and would be a useful learning tool in the classroom.

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