Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bitter waters

Did racial cleansing happen in the south of the US in the beginning of the twentieth century? Pulitzer prize winning author Elliot Jaspin wrote a book 'Buried in the bitter waters' about it. He has been invited to the University of Chicago to give a talk about it and that was added to the University Channel Podcast, that combines so many interesting academic lectures.

The anecdotal start of the investigation has mention of the Ku Klux Klan. At the end of the session, when being asked on the KKK influence, Jaspin discloses that only in a specific county in Indiana, the KKK had a hand in the cleansing. Otherwise, so it seems, the initiative to drive out blacks was purely a sort of spontaneous local organizational effort.

To sum up, black population dropped dramatically in so many southern counties that Jaspin had to pick and choose some to write about. So, the material is based on a selection from a pool that suggests many more incidences.