Historical Fiction Mini-Project
In the winter of 1865-1866, the Confederate Army veterans based in Pulaski, Tennessee formed the group Ku Klux Klan, designed primarily as a social group. The name was an adaptation from the word “kyklos”, Greek for circle and clan from English. The title Grand Wizard was reserved for the leader of the organization, the first being General Nathan B. Forrest. The Klan was the “Invisible Empire of the South” during the Nashville convention in the summer of 1867. Other names were used for junior officers in the organization including Grand Cyclops, Grand Dragon, and Grand Titan (Gitlin 12)
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Its expansion was rapid, recruiting about two member’s country wide. It further employed use of political force besides tortures, murders, and burning crosses to assert its authority. However, leadership wrangles and public outcry of its violence eventually weakened its influence. Attempts to revive it include during the era of Civil Rights which failed. It is currently a small organization that champions for fundamentalist Christian theology and white supremacy. However, the Klan was historically significant especially due to their contribution to continued slavery in the form of share cropping and racism ( Gitlin 56).
There are various incidences in which the Ku Klux Klan appears in the story of the historical book “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry”. The ideologies of the Ku Klux Klan are represented in the discriminatory practices in the provision of education. There were different schools for the colored and the whites. The schools attended by the blacks’ children were largely underdeveloped while those owned by the whites received all the resources. For instance, the black children had to walk to and from school while the whiter children had a bus to carry them. Further, there was the incident whereby the black children are issued with old books, presumably after they have been thrown away by the white children. This incident relating to Little Man or Clayton Chester displays the depth of racism in the education system of the time.
The Klan is variously referred to as the nightriders or the night men. A character in the book, Mr. Wallace is believed to be a member of this group that perpetuates...