Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   Knights in White Satin: Women of the Ku Klux Klan
Author:   Kelli R. Kerbawy
College:   Liberal Arts
Degree Program:   History, M.A.
Degree:   Master of Arts
Committee Director:   Dr. Robert Sawrey
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04/18/2007

The Ku Klux Klan is often thought of as a male-dominated organization; however there is evidence that women contributed to Klan efforts and participated in their own group, Women of the KKK. This study analyzes women’s involvement within the KKK during the 1920s. Women’s participation in early progressive movements, including temperance and suffrage, served as a catalyst for women’s involvement with the KKK. This paper explores women’s roles in the Ku Klux Klan as leaders within the WKKK. From earlier social movements, women gained knowledge needed to promote and expand the WKKK and other white supremacist women’s organizations. This paper examines conflicting rhetoric published by the organizations outlining roles women potentially served in leadership positions, while highlighting that these were only within the domestic sphere. Finally, this project delves into evidence regarding Klansmen’s treatment of women, which eventually led to exposure of the contradictory and hate-filled nature of the KKK. 

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