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They Called Themselves the KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


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I’ve learned about the Ku Klux Klan in school but the lessons were boring and the details were vague. This book, however, shed light on that horrific event in our history. Throughout school, teachers have touched very lightly on the topic, leaving us with minimal knowledge. At most, students recognize that the period of time involved immense violence and racism. Picture yourself as an African American as you read the appalling things that occurred during this time.

“They Called Themselves the KKK” is a true story packed with knowledge along with horrific and graphic details recounted by victims themselves. Despite the fear and intimidation this gang invoked in every person that supported equal rights, this club was actually started by six seemingly harmless Confederate officers. They shared opinions on politics, society and that is what they discussed weekly. However, on one evening in May of 1866, one normal meeting turned into the first step that would lead to a nationwide threat. John Lester said “Boys, let us get up a club or society.”

Imagine yourself as an ex-officer of a defeated army, restless and bored by suddenly having to function in normal everyday life, the suggestion was more than appealing. They raided a linen closet, dawning sheets, and riding across town on horseback. And in that one night, the Ku Klux Klan was born. The Klan’s actions started out completely harmless. They would crash parties, saying they were ghost riders or visitors from the moon. But soon enough, this would become boring and the Klan turned to what they all agreed was a real problem; blacks. The horrors of this ugly mark on our history did not simply stop at racist remarks and prejudice.
They began breaking into black’s homes, dragging the men out of bed and hanging, lynching or whipping them outside while their wives were being raped. The Klan not only targeted blacks but also whites that preached, taught or supported blacks. This book not only increased my knowledge of the subject but also my respect for it. I had not fully understood the cruelty and injustice this group had been capable of. After reading this, I felt much more confident in my understanding of our history. I highly recommend this book, everyone in this country should know about our past, however ugly and embarrassing it may be, because that it was helps us learn for the future.




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This article has 10 comments. Post your own!

J.Miller said...
Aug. 25, 2012 at 11:18 am:
Great review! I love the details you put and after reading this now i want to read the book.
 
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Sammy B. said...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm:
I love your review! My favorite part was when you told us to imagine ourselves as African Americans who were enduring this unfair treatment, and I absolutly love your summary of the main points in the book. Overall, this is a great review! Keep up the great work!
 
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jayde0517 said...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 12:22 am:
I also haven't been educated very much on the subject of the KKK but after reading this review it sounds very interesting and important. 
 
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jayde0517 said...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 12:22 am:
I also haven't been educated very much on the subject of the KKK but after reading this review it sounds very interesting and important. 
 
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grahamG said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm:
Great review it made me think about all the horrific things that happened, it seems like a really good book.
 
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mtuttle said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm:
This is a good review and after reading it I realized that I want to know more about the book and would like to read the entire thing.
 
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AmandaWood said...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm:
This is a really great review. I loved all of the details you put in it. It sounds like an interesting book!
 
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K7777 said...
Aug. 17, 2012 at 9:30 pm:
This review was supported with great detail in what the book was about. I also agree with the insight you had at the end. Great job.
 
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BriLee said...
Aug. 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm:
Very good review! I'm gonna have to read this book sometime!
 
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Rayce M. said...
Aug. 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm:
Very insightful Shayna! Something that i might want to read! overall great reveiw!
 
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