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PHOTO ESSAY

Jim Crow Justice

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Ku Klux Klan

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.

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