How Alabama taught its children to be racists

Many Baby Boomers who grew up in Alabama learned the history of their state from a racist 1957 textbook called Know Alabama. John Archibald of AL.com presented some samples:

know-alabamaOne version of the book does at least acknowledge that life is not always perfect on a plantation. For the master, anyway:

"No plantation had a model group of slaves, for planters had to buy whatever slaves they could get. Some slaves were good workers and very obedient. Many took pride in what they did, and loved their cabins and the plantation as much as if they actually owned them. Others were lazy, disobedient, and sometimes vicious."

And this is what Alabama taught its children about the Ku Klux Klan:

"The loyal white men of Alabama saw they could not depend on the laws or the state government to protect their families. They knew they had to do something to bring back law and order, to get the government back in the hands of honest men who knew how to run it.

"They (the Klan) held their courts in the dark forests at night; they passed sentence on the criminals and they carried out the sentence. Sometimes the sentence would be to leave the state.

"After a while the Klan struck fear in the hearts of the "carpetbaggers" and other lawless men who had taken control of the state.... The Negroes who had been fooled by the false promises of the "carpetbaggers" decided to get themselves jobs and settle down to make an honest living.

"Many of the Negroes in the South remained loyal to the white Southerners. Even though they had lately been freed from slavery, even though they had no education, they knew who their friends were."

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