The Rise of the Carolina Klan

David Cunningham

in Klansville, U.S.A.

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199752027
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979431 | DOI:
The Rise of the Carolina Klan

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This chapter provides a detailed overview of the Carolina Klan's spectacular rise in 1964 and 1965, constructing a close portrait of Imperial Wizard Robert Shelton, Grand Dragon Bob Jones, and other key leaders, as well as documenting the functioning of the group's rallies and street walks, its financial machinations, its layered membership structure, and the ambiguous place of violence within the organization. Throughout, the discussion emphasizes how solidarity among members was maintained and strengthened by tightly-bounded conceptions of the “white public,” as well as how varied civic efforts sought to create alternative “pure” white institutions to insulate adherents from looming civil rights reforms. While primarily focused on the rapid growth of United Klans in North Carolina, the chapter situates this story within a broader account of KKK violence elsewhere in the South, in particular the Klan-perpetrated killings of civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and Selma, Alabama.

Keywords: Ku Klux Klan; membership; rallies; street walks; violence; Bob Jones; Neshoba county; Selma

Chapter.  11497 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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