New Online Exhibit Explores Local KKK Activities in the 1920's

May 17, 2023
 New Online Exhibit Explores Local KKK Activities in the 1920's

The History Center announces they have uploaded a new online exhibit called "The Ku Klux Klan in Angelina County, Lufkin, and Diboll, Texas During the Early 1920’s" on their website this month. The exhibit explores local Klu Klux Klan activities in Angelina County during the first half of the 1920's using newspaper clippings. Most of the clippings come from the Lufkin Daily News, but papers in Fort Worth and Shreveport , among others, reported news from Angelina County as well. These news articles portray KKK activities with civic pride, proudly announcing initiations and parades and praising the large crowds and enthusiastic local reception, as well as cooperation from city and county officials and religious leaders.

When telling local history, it is tempting to focus on the stories that flatter ourselves and those who came before us. We all love stories about great lives that accomplished great things, but are less comfortable with stories that shine light on the darker sides of our ancestors. However, both types of stories are history, and it is the full history of our area that shapes our lives and communities today. This online news clippings exhibit, about the Ku Klux Klan in Angelina County during the years 1922-1923, is one of the lesser-known stories in our history and is not one that many people like to remember. It is, however, part of the story of Angelina County. Remembering the county’s at best indifference to, and at worst embrace of, the KKK is a useful tool to teach us about who we no longer want to be. History is not just local boosterism – it is a dedication to learning from the good and the bad, remembering so that we never forget.

Please visit the exhibit (click here) and let us know what you think!

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