The short version of the story goes…
As the civil rights movement grew in the 1960s, the long dormant Ku Klux Klan gained momentum as well, having re-emerged after the 1954 Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education decision.
That the Klan would rise once again wasn’t surprising, but where the reincarnation took place was.
North Carolina, long considered the most progressive southern state and one whose image was being burnished by the enormously popular “The Andy Griffith Show,” saw a boom in Klan membership under the leadership of Bob Jones, the most successful Grand Dragon in the country. In just three years, he grew the North Carolina Klan from a handful of friends to some 10,000 members – more than the Klans of all other Southern states combined. In the process, Jones helped give the Tarheel State a new nickname: “Klansville, USA.”
Produced and directed by Callie T. Wiser, “Klansville U.S.A.” – which provides audiences with a critical history of why the Klan thrived during the Civil Rights era – premieres on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on PBS, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 13, 2015, at 9pm ET (check your local listings).
Ahead of tomorrow’s broadcast, S&A has been granted an exclusive look at the documentary: