Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy, by Edward Ball

pp. 12 – 13

Our Klansman’s story is not just a family story, it belongs to many. I have no first-person testimony for this tale — no letters or diaries, speeches or interviews. There are court records, however. There is thick circumstantial evidence. There are newspaper accounts, victim testimony, wills, property records, sacramental records, interviews by black families struck by Klan violence, supremacist manifestos, and traces of white oral tradition.

It’s pretty balls-y (no pun intended, ha!) of the author to go ahead and write a book on the racists in his family. Self knows that if there happened to be, say, a murderer in her family tree, she probably wouldn’t have the tenacity to go dig around in court records. Props to Edward Ball!

Earlier this year, she read another book about family secrets: Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family, by Robert Kolker. The pandemic was just a few months old, maybe that’s what’s coloring her year’s reading choices.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.


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