Children of the Klan – Growing up in the American Far Right 1960-2000


Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowships


History, Philosophy and Political Science


If no one is born a racist, how are they made? This question is central to “Children of the Klan – Growing up in the American Far Right 1960-2000”- an oral history project. Based on interviews with 15 children of Ku Klux Klan members, auto/biographies, archival materials, and existing Ku Klux Klan historiography, this project explores what it was like to grow up on the political fringes of American society. It integrates the private and the political and depicts the lives of Klan families in the latter part of the 20th century. As seen through the eyes of their children, this project explores Klan members’ different interpretations of their movement’s values and ideology and compliments prior studies into Klan identity and mentality in the 1920s. To find out how parents transmitted their racist politics and rigid ideology from one generation to the next and examine how parents’ activism and white supremacist beliefs shaped their childhood and adult lives, interview questions focus on cultural and political upbringing, religious convictions, friendships and relationships, gender roles, sex and sexuality, education and aspirations, and work and career choices.