Black History Month 2022

kkk

Ku Klux Klan Formed



Pulaski, Tennessee - The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was formed. Six (6) ex-Confederate officers, Frank McCord, Richard Reed, John Lester, John Kennedy, J. Calvin Jones and James Crowe, were its first members.

The KKK was the most violent and racist terrorist group, in United States history. Its purpose was to harass and attack black Americans.

The KKK only allowed white male members. The women's version was the Women of the Ku Klux Klan (WKKK). It has always helped the KKK, in its many forms, until today.

The violence of the KKK led the United States government to pass the Enforcement Acts. These three (3) Acts passed in 1870 and 1871, made the actions of the KKK illegal.

The Enforcement Acts led to a gradual decline in KKK activity.

'The Birth of A Nation' (1915) led to a rebirth of the KKK in 1915. President Woodrow Wilson saw the film at the White House. He called it history written in lightning. This effect led to the era of the second KKK.

This second era of the KKK lasted until World War 2. This was its largest and most powerful period. There were tens of thousands of members all over the country. In the 21st Century, the KKK is very limited, but still aided by the WKKK.

First Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1870 was the first of the enforcement acts passed. It was to protect the rights of those formerly enslaved, to vote.

This was the first law that enforced the Fifteenth Amendment. It was an attempt to stop the Ku Klux Klan, the Knights of the Camellia, and other white supremacist groups that attacked black people.

Source:

1870 Civil Rights Act - 1st Force Act

Justice Department Signed Into Law



Washington, D. C. - President Ulysses Grant signed the Act to Establish the Department of Justice. It was formed to enforce the laws of the post-Slavery War era. These included the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. It was also a way to stop the Ku Klux Klan.

Source:
Birth of the Justice Department

Second Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - This Act amended the Civil Rights Act of 1870. It made it a crime to stop black people from being registered to vote. It put National elections under the control of the Federal government. Voters for elected officials for Federal(not State) office were protected under Federal law.

This was the Second Enforcement Act of the Fifteenth Amendment.

Source:

Second Enforcement Act

Third Enforcement Act



Washington, D. C. - The Civil Rights Act of 1871, was the third (and final) enforcement act of the Reconstruction Era. It was to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment.

This act was meant to stop the Ku Klux Klan, White League, and other white supremacists. They attacked duly elected officers of the United States. This act made it a crime that included fines, jail time, and possible civil action.

None of the enforcement acts were ever used to protect black people, despite their intent. The United States Supreme Court stopped any chance of that in the case of United States v. Cruikshank.

Source:

Civil Rights Act of 1871

Birth of A Nation Premiered



New York, New York - Birth of A Nation was shown, for the first time. It was also called the Clansman, from the 1905 book, and play, of the same name. It was about the Ku Klx Klan (KKK).

The movie was a fiction of the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. It was an all-white film. To present black people, white actors appeared in blackface. Black people were shown as the bad guys. The KKK were shown as the heroes, to protect white society.

It was the first film shown inside the White House. The sitting President, Woodrow Wilson, invited his family, and his Cabinet to watch it. Wilson said, 'It is like writing history with lightning.'

The Enforcement Acts, of the early 1870s, reduced the KKK to almost nothing. It had been more than 40 years since the KKK was at its height, when the movie was released. When the film was shown for the first time, the KKK had almost no public presence. After the film, there was a massive increase in KKK activity. It lasted for decades, until World War 2 (1940s).

In 1870, a federal grand jury said the KKK was a terrorist group. With the release of this film, the KKK was reborn.

Ku Klux Klan Marched on Washington



Washington, D. C. - Tens of thousands of whites marched to show their support for the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The KKK was based on hatred of black people.

Second Ku Klux Klan March on Washington



Washington, D. C. - The Ku Klux Klan held a second march on Washington, D. C. It followed the success of the previous year, on August 8th, 1925.

More than 50,000 whites were in the march and rally.

Source:
1926 KKK March

Harry and Harriette Moore Killed



Mims, Florida - Harry T. Moore and his wife, Harriette V. S. Moore were killed the night of December 25th, 1951. A bomb exploded under the bedroom floor of the Moores' home in Mims, Florida.

The couple were equal pay and voting rights activists for black Americans. They were early organizers for Black Rights in Florida, after World War 2.

Four (4) white male Ku Klux Klan members were suspected of the murder. Yet, none were indicted, charged, nor arrested.

Nation of Islam Meets KKK



Atlanta, Georgia - The Nation of Islam sent two (2) of its members to meet the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). The two men were Malcolm X and Jeremiah X.

Elijah Muhammad wanted his mosques safe, in the South. A meeting was arranged with the KKK. It was held at the home of Jeremiah X. As national spokesman, Malcolm X spoke for the Nation of Islam.

The KKK speaker was W.S. Fellows. It was estimated 10% of the KKK were Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) snitches. The FBI may have used the meeting to learn more about the Nation of Islam.

The Nation of Islam got the safety it wanted. Malcolm X, it was believed, began to doubt Elijah Muhammad.

Birmingham Church Bombing



Birmingham, Alabama - Four white males killed four (4) black girls in church. A bomb was placed at the 16th Street Baptist Church. More than a dozen people were injured. The only deaths were the children.

The victims were Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Denise McNair. The bombers were in the Ku Klux Klan. They were Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., Herman Frank Cash, Robert Edward Chambliss, and Bobby Frank Cherry.

On Sunday morning, the four (4) planted 15 sticks of dynamite at the church. The sticks were placed under the church steps, with a time delay. This was near the church basement.

About 10:22 a.m., there were five (5) children in the basement bathroom. They wore their best Sunday clothes. They changed into choir robes for the Sunday sermon.

The phone rang. The acting Sunday School secretary answered. She was Carolyn Maull, a 14-year-old girl. She heard the words, 'Three minutes.'

Less than a minute later, the bomb exploded. It threw the girls' bodies through the air like rag dolls. The explosion blew a 7-foot hole in the rear wall. A passing driver was blown out of his car. Several parked cars next to the church were destroyed.

Four of the girls were killed. The fifth was Susan Collins. She was the sister of Addie Mae. Susan was permanently blinded by the blast.

In 1977, Robert Chambliss was convicted for one of the murders. He was sent to jail for the murder of 11-year-old Carol Denise McNair.

In 2001, Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. was convicted of all four (4) murders. He got life in prison.

In 2002, Bobby Cherry was convicted of all four (4) murders. He got life in prison.

Herman Cash died in 1994. He was never tried.

Deacons for Defense



Bogalusa, Louisiana - The first chapter, of the Deacons for Self Defense was formed. The Deacons for Self-Defense was started in November, 1964, in Jonesboro, Louisiana. However, the first chapter started on this day.

This was not the first armed black American self-defense group, in the United States. But, it was one of the most prominent of the Black Rights period. Twenty (20) other chapters came later, in Mississippi and Alabama.

The goal of the group was to protect Black Rights activists and their families. The Ku Klux Klan and white vigilantes were the worst threats. Police workers were just as bad, but had state power behind them.

Third Selma March



Selma, Alabama - A third Selma march began. It was to end in Montgomery, the state capitol.. It began at Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Thousands began the march.

Unlike the earlier Selma marches, the march itself was peaceful. It had the support of President Johnson and military protection. More than 20,000 took part.

After the march, Viola Liuzzo was killed, by the KKK. She came from Detroit to join the march. As she and a black teenager drove marchers back to Selma, the KKK shot, into the car.

Liuzzo was killed by the gunfire. Le Roy Moton, who was in the car with her, was unharmed. He was nineteen (19) years of age. This helped push whites to pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Source:

Selma Marches

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