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Interested in local history and racial violence?

Black Heroines for Justice: 1980s Terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan in Chattanooga and the Women Who Stood Against Them


When: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 5:30-7:00 pm

Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center

Join us at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center for a presentation and discussion about the women who stood up to racial violence in Chattanooga in 1980.

Professor Randolph M. McLaughlin, author of Racially-Motivated Violence: Litigation Strategies, will discuss his use of the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 to sue the Justice Knights of the Ku Klux Klan for shooting five Black women while they walked home on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chattanooga on April 19th, 1980.

In the 1980s, the Klan re-emerged as a terrorist organization that employed violence and intimidation against members of African-American communities in the Southern United States. Listen to Professor McLaughlin’s firsthand account of the landmark case of Crumsey v. Justice Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which resulted in the plaintiffs winning $535,000 in damages and an injunction against the Klan prohibiting the group from engaging in violence and from entering the Black community. This was the first time that Klan victims secured monetary relief in such a suit and the Crumsey case continues to serve as a model for other litigation against white supremacist organizations.

This event is organized by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Africana Studies Program, Department of English, Department of History, and Library, with support from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

For more information, contact Dr. Susan Eckelmann Berghel at Susan-Eckelmann@utc.edu.

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