Thursday, September 2, 2010

They Called Themselves the kkk - Susan Campbell Bartoletti

They Called Themselves the kkk by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
What's inside of this book, is as powerful as the cover image. The small print on the hood is "The birth of an American terrorist group" Someone with no knowledge of the klan could read this and easily understand its history. Someone who familiar with the klan could read this and appreciate the work and detail Baritoletti has put into her latest release.

Bartoletti follows a precise, timeline beginning in the Spring of 1865. In doing the upheaval America was quickly established. When the Civil War ended and Blacks were freed (air quotes) many Southren White people were scared their way of life would change. This lead six Confederate officers from Puaski, Tennessee to form a club that would soon become the kkk

Bartoletti unmasks the klan and the men behind it, from their secret codes, names and rankings. She also makes the reader wonder what would've happened if Abraham Lincoln wasn't assassinated.

"After Lincoln's death, Johnson took the oath of office. He began to reconstruct the Southern states on his own, without the help of Congress, which was not in session. Right away, he began to pardon Confederate soldiers and other supporters of the Confederate army."

The artwork is part photographs, part illustrations. On page 56 there is a photograph of man in a klans robe from the Reconstruction. On page 57 there is a photograph of W.E.B Du Bois. The art alone will give anyone much to think about.

This is one of the best non fiction books of the year. Bartoletti has not missed a thing. Her Civil Rights timeline, (6pgs), quotes cites (6pgs) and Bibliography and Source Notes (7pgs) are all very impressive and appreciated.

I didn't do this book justice, so please check out the except

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am upset that the principal at my school wanted me to remove this book from my classroom library. I am a white female who teaches 8th grade Reading and Language Arts. He said that the presence of the book made me appear racist. Sadly, my intention was just the opposite. He objected to the book because he had a relative who had been hung during the Jim Crow days, and he found it painful to read.