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Teaching Hard History: A “Reign of Terror” in North Carolina: From Wyatt Outlaw to the Ku Klux Klan, Testimonies of 1871/1872

Tuesday, Apr. 13, 5–6:30 p.m. via Zoom

Register here! This is an online program.

Panelists: Freddie Parker, Professor Emeritus, American History, NCCU; Glenn Hinson, Associate Professor, American Studies and Anthropology, UNC–CH; and Ted Shaw, Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director, Center for Civil Rights, UNC–CH. Moderator: James Williams, Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition

In 1869 a federal grand jury declared the Ku Klux Klan to be a terrorist organization; in January 1871 Congress convened a committee that took testimony from witnesses about Klan atrocities. The committee’s results were published in 1872, as a 13-volume Report of the Joint select committee appointed to inquire into the condition of affairs in the late insurrectionary states, so far as regards the execution of laws, and the safety of the lives and property of the citizens of the United States and Testimony taken. Volume 2 of the report contains testimony taken by the committee in relation to North Carolina, as well as the report of trials in US circuit court held in Raleigh. Together, this primary source paints a jarring, yet little known, picture of our state’s past, the state and national governmental responses, and, ultimately, the KKK testimonies and trials themselves. During tonight’s session, panelists will work to shine a light on this historical record and the activities of the KKK and other hate groups in late-1800s North Carolina. They will also examine the complex ways this history is still with us today, including a recent invocation of the 1871 KKK Act in a federal lawsuit.

All educators (K–12, community college and community educators, college and university) are welcome to attend, as well as individuals with interest in the topic; however, material shared will be most relevant for educators of grades 8 and higher. Attending K–12 teachers will receive accompanying lesson plans post-attendance and can receive CEUs for participating. Space is limited to 30 participants.

This event is provided by the North Carolina Museum of History, Carolina K–12, and the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition; funding is provided by the Braitmayer Foundation.