They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
2010 by HMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780618440337
Genre – Nonfiction
Age – High School, Middle School
I recently learned that the Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee, and since I just moved to Tennessee, I thought it a good idea to learn some history. “They Called themselves the KKK” starts by describing the Civil War and the implications on the social, political, and economical aspects of life in the South. It goes on to talk about the founding and evolution of the group over the last 150 years.
This is a hard history to swallow and it is even still harder to swallow, that some of it is not history. It was interesting and devastating, the pictures added an extra amount of emotion. I really appreciated that at the end of each chapter, there was a personal account of someone who witnessed these horrors. I also appreciated the lack of editing in the primary documents littered throughout the book. Some things may be more difficult to read because of this, but its authenticity is apparent. The saddest part to me about this book is knowing that these behaviors still exist today, so no matter how far we have come, it is not enough. By making ourselves more aware of the history, we can be better equipped to avoid it, hopefully.