D.W. Griffith’s 1915 silent epic, The Birth of a Nation is said to be one of the most influential films of all time, particularly in advancing the cause of the Ku Klux Klan, heroic myths about The South and stereotypes about Black people.
The film was based on a work of fiction published in 1905, The Clansman by Thomas Dixon, Jr., which enjoyed great popularity. Part of a historical romance trilogy, the novel is more blatant than the movie in advancing White superiority and a need to oppose by state law the Reconstruction Amendments to The United States Constitution. The book is not that readily available, but the movie is.
The Southampton History Museum will host the webinar “The Clansman: A Novel that Reignited the KKK” with Joan Baum, on Friday, February 10th.
In this program, Joan Baum will look at how both might be used to expand civil discourse in a constructive manner that would find acceptance in classrooms around the country.
This program will begin at 11 am and will be held via Zoom. For more information or to register, click here.
Illustration: Theatrical release poster for The Birth of a Nation, distributed by Epoch Film Co.