“I think that it’s very unique,” says James H. Anderson, an assistant professor of history at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
“I don, never,” he says. “
“The KKK was not the dominant presence in the United States until the 1930s.” “
I don, never,” he says.
“The KKK was not the dominant presence in the United States until the 1930s.”
Anderson says that the Ku Klan’s presence in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee is evidence that the Klan could make its mark in the state.
The Klan’s influence in Alabama peaked during the 1870s, but it wasn’t until the 1880s that the group started to expand, Anderson says.
The Civil War, the Great Depression and the Great Migration helped create a culture of white supremacy and segregation.
In the early 1900s, a group of Klansmen began using the Confederate flag in public, and white supremacist groups began using anti-black rhetoric, Anderson explains.
The Ku Klux Knights’ influence grew in Alabama in the 1920s and 1930s, he says, and continued into the 1960s.
Anderson says the Klan’s impact was “stagnant” until the early 1990s, when the KKK was able to grow in the country and expand into the states.
He says he has heard about Klan members traveling to Alabama, but doesn’t know whether they’re actually doing so.
“If they’re really doing it, I don’t know,” Anderson says, adding that he doesn’t think that the KKK would have traveled far if it weren’t for the Great Society programs of the 1960-70s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1970s.
“There were very few places like that,” Anderson explains, “and there are a few places that were very different than Alabama.”
One of those places was Mississippi, where white supremacists once controlled the state’s political and social institutions.
But after the civil rights movement, the state was transformed from a predominantly black state to a white majority state in the mid-1970s.
In addition to the Klan, the Kuvincians were also active in the Black Panther Party, Anderson notes.
The KKK was once a fringe group in the South, but its influence has expanded and flourished.
And the Klan remains a powerful force today.
“In the Klan you see the influence of people who came in the late 20th century and were just not mainstream,” Anderson said.
“They’re very different, but they’re all there.”