Film's relation to the KKK

Scene from The Birth of a Nation

An actor dressed in blackface being captured by the KKK in D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation

The Birth of a Nation is synonymous with the Ku Klux Klan. Through its portrayl of the Klan as heros in much of the film, saving white women from black men, the film is responsible for the second surge of the Klan and its popularity for the better part of the 20th century, despite the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 banned the Klan on a federal level. Klan participation grew to numbers from 6 to 8 million in 1924-25. Although the KKK was founded in 1865, it had a second resurgence after the release of The Birth of a Nation. The filmed served as a lmost propoganda for the Klan.

The KKK is a large southern based hate group known for wearing white hoods and robes. The Klan was nationalist and claimed to protect the Anglo-Saxon blood in America. They are responsible for thousands of brutal murders of not just blacks, but all groups of minorities. The Klan used scare tactics against these groups. They would enter the homes of families, kidnap black men, they held public lynchings, and burned crosses among many things. They would also hold parades and rallys. 

KKK parade

more images from parade on 8/8/1925

KKK Parade (2)

The KKK showing a belief in Christianity during a parade in 1925

Cross burning, Ku Klux Klan

KKK holding a public cross burning in 1925


1. KKK Parade, 8/8/25. , 1925. [August 8] Photograph.

2. Rampell, Ed. “‘The Birth of a Nation’: The Most Racist Movie Ever Made.” Washington Post, March 3, 2015.

Film's relation to the KKK