Jim Crow Justice
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
The NAACP was opposed by terrorist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, which targeted African Americans with harassment and violence in a quest to uphold white supremacy and the racist status quo. This illustration from Harpers magazine, titled "The Union as It Was: The Lost Cause, " was published in 1874. It shows a man labeled "White League" shaking hands with a Ku Klux Klan member under an American eagle bearing the phrase "This is a white man's government. " Both white men are armed, and the Klansman smiles widely. Below them, black parents huddle in fear with their stricken child, flanked by a burning schoolhouse and a lynched man hanging from a tree. The Klan went through several incarnations and entered into decline after the imprisonment of "Grand Dragon" D.C. Stephenson on rape and manslaughter charges in 1925, but persisted in a diminished form and spawned offshoot groups that continued to terrorize blacks, Jews, Catholics, and other groups throughout the twentieth century, even to the present day.