Thursday, March 19, 2015

The 1920s and the KKK

Sorry for not posting for a long time.  Truth is I've fallen out of the habit of working on my novels and other personal projects every day -- or rather, that habit has been replaced with freelancing endeavors.  I'm devoting April to getting back into the habit, though.  My goal is to write 500 words a day during April for Camp NaNoWriMo.  I have several old projects I want to finish so that I can move on to the next one, so getting back to work again is important.

Anyway, today's topic is the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.  Most people don't realize that the hate group was hugely popular in the 20s.  Not only was it considered culturally acceptable, but it was also a thriving part of the community much of the time.

When The KKK Was Mainstream

The 1920s was also a time when people were very suspicious of Catholics, especially immigrants.  The KKK promoted Protestant values, which most white, non-Catholics felt was the American way.  So the KKK had an easy time marketing themselves to people during this period.

And of course, racism was still alive and well during the 1920s.  The nice clubs were whites-only, and many middle class people only ever saw black people in the bands or in service occupations.  Of course 1920s culture was also commandeering black jazz music as their very own, but that was beside the point.

I wasn't surprised at the racism in the 1920s, but the predominance of the KKK definitely surprised me when I first started doing the research for Ruby Ransome.  The 20s were definitely an interesting time, basically a huge clash of progressive movements and traditional values.

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