From the Vault: The Ku Klux Klan, Race and Prejudice In America
This week on From The Vault we highlight a few programs that demonstrates how truly diverse our collection is.
This week we tackle the topic of Race and Prejudice through a few recording that will hopefully shed a little light on how generalizations on this very sensitive subject cannot possibly account for the subtleties involved.
At the center of this discussion will be three people from the South who each play an important role in this discussion. Like many of the recordings in our collection you probably haven' t heard their names before, but their actions are significant and deserve a place in history and in our current National Discussion on Race, Racism and Prejudice today.
We have Marcia Elizabeth Tomkins a Pacifica Radio WBAI staffer, a native of Tuscaloosa Alabama who recorded a Ku Klux Klan meeting for a landmark Pacifica Documentary in 1964.
Ironically the KKK in 2014 have been in the news as Several Central Florida Police Officers have been found to have affiliation with the KKK and in Orange County California KKK recruitment flyers have popped up in several suburban neighborhoods. What we all hoped was of historic antiquity is still alive and well. This program looks at the underlying causes that would cause someone to both join such a group... and leave it.
We also have C. P. Ellis, a former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham North Carolina, who described in 1996 the circumstances of his background growing up hopeful and optimistic in a poor working class family and how circumstances lead him to the Klan.
He then proceeds to reveal how he actually has more in common with his Black neighbors, when he is ironically teamed up with Ann Atwater who is Black, to deal with the town's desegregation process.