Title of Abstract

The 1871 Ku Klux Klan Trials: A Legacy of Injustice

Session Title

Racism and Immigration Issues

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of History

Faculty Mentor

O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Ph.D.

Abstract

In 1871, Columbia, South Carolina, became the arena for one of the largest trials in American history. Over 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan were brought to the courts on charges of inciting violence against African Americans. These various acts of violence were a form of resisting African Americans being free and having rights during the Reconstruction Era. White supremacist groups influenced every institution in America, from politics to education. These trials set a precedent for how African Americans would be tried in the American criminal justice system over time, and how the system has been used to keep African Americans oppressed and white Americans superior. We contend that, due to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, Reconstruction was a failure, which resulted in the continuous failure of the American government in its duty to protect African Americans per the 14th amendment.

Start Date

24-4-2020 12:00 AM

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

The 1871 Ku Klux Klan Trials: A Legacy of Injustice

In 1871, Columbia, South Carolina, became the arena for one of the largest trials in American history. Over 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan were brought to the courts on charges of inciting violence against African Americans. These various acts of violence were a form of resisting African Americans being free and having rights during the Reconstruction Era. White supremacist groups influenced every institution in America, from politics to education. These trials set a precedent for how African Americans would be tried in the American criminal justice system over time, and how the system has been used to keep African Americans oppressed and white Americans superior. We contend that, due to the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, Reconstruction was a failure, which resulted in the continuous failure of the American government in its duty to protect African Americans per the 14th amendment.