The Ku Klux Klan is a radical right-wing group responsible for numerous periods of racial prejudice and oppression across America. Though the group has undergone plenty of iterations and changes in motivation, they generally claim to be a Christian movement and associate themselves with Christian ideals. Important to note, however, is that most – if not all – branches of the modern-day Christian Church both reject and denounce the group and its actions.
Historians believe the group was founded in 1866 and grew with the increasing support of Southerners who were frustrated both by the emancipation of African Americans and the Union's defeat of the Confederacy in 1865. During the Reconstruction Era, the first unified movement of the radical assembly vehemently tried to forestall the Republican government through acts of violence, particularly toward African American leaders. The federal government soon stepped in and halted the alarming growth of the movement in 1871.
The movement would once again find its footing in the 1910s, however, this time targeting both Jews and Catholics. At this time. they adopted their infamous white uniform, though members were historically always hooded in order to conceal their identities. This second movement also led to the development of the activities for which they are most known: hate marches and burning crosses.
The pictures below depict many of the different forms that the group has taken throughout the 20th century.
Members Stand In A Square Formation At A West Virginia Rally
Thousands Of Hooded But Unmasked Members March In Washington, DC
Klan Rally Forms A Circle
Burning Of A Cross