The Ku Klux Klan Biography

PHOTO: The Ku Klux Klan

Boredom and social resentment made the Klu Klux Klan the most feared and powerful mob in post-Civil War America. The KKK was responsible for the lynching and deaths of thousands of men, women and children, most of them black. And from 1880 until 1905 not one person was even convicted of these murders or any associated crimes.

In the spring of 1866, six Confederate Army veterans bored with their civilian life formed the KKK. The name derived from the Greek word ‘kuklos’ meaning circle. The KKK had no political purpose, the founders’ intentions were “to have fun, make mischief and play pranks on the public.” They would whoop across farmland dressed in white robes. Superstitious rustics began a myth that these ghostly figures were Confederate soldiers leaving their graves to exact revenge on their killers.

At the time, the abolition of slavery had bankrupted many wealthy plantation and slave owners in the South. The whole population was suffering the economic effects. Black men were seen as the cause of this poverty.

A penniless former general and slave-owner named Nathan Forest joined the KKK and became their Grand Wizard in 1867. He used his military know-how to discipline the KKK. Meetings were announced in the newspapers beside warnings for “unholy blacks, cursed by God, to take warning and fly.”

Within a year the KKK was devoted to the lynching, torture and murder of black man. Through out the Southern States the Klan’s supporters would grab black people accused of even petty crimes from the street or jail and hang them from a tree or a bridge, before burn their corpse and leaving it for all to see.

Their acts were well known to the authorities, however, no charges were ever brought against a KKK member because under the white robes were often the policemen themselves.

The KKK popularity thankfully dwindled as American blacks and whites fought to expose racism and shock the national consciousness into outrage. The last publicised incident of a KKK lynching was in Mississippi in 1955.

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