York Town Square

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Ku Klux Klan display ugliest part of York County, Pa.’s, ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’ exhibit

Ann Elicker of York tries to explain the Ku Klux Klan robes to her three-year-old son Calvin at a York County (Pa.) Heritage Trust’s Junior Curator exhibit ‘Good, Bad and Ugly.’ The exhibit, at the Historical Society Museum, is open until Sept. 25. Background posts: For years, KKK has tried to navigate the York County mainstream and Leonard Pitts speaking in York, Pa.: Sometimes, history hurts and York, Pa.: ‘It’s a midsize city with an interesting history’.

“K.K.K had no idea that I am an African American living in that high-end community.”
So said a note from a black York County resident that is on display at the Junior Curators “Good, Bad and Ugly: Skeletons in York County’s Closet” exhibit at the York County Heritage Trust.
It was 1972, and someone had placed a Klan recruitment flier into the space between his storm door and front door in his upscale neighborhood.
The writer considered asking the distributor to send him the Klan regalia so he could attend their meetings.
“Then I would lift that pointed head up,” he wrote, “and give them a big smile.” …

Too bad he passed on that notion.
The Klansmen’s red faces would have shown through their white hoods.
The identity of that writer, redacted in the Heritage Trust exhibit, is no doubt Voni B. Grimes, who told almost the exact story in his autobiography, “Bridging Troubled Waters.”
This sidebar went with my longer piece in the York Sunday News (9/12/10) about the exhibit: Klan destined to fade locally.
Here’s a question: Any interaction with the Klan that you’d like to tell about? Comment below.
Other Klan-related posts:
Klan’s presence won’t make York County’s highlight reel.
How about a window-shattering ceremony to end icon of York County racism?
Finder of KKK certificate: ‘My first thought was fear … the Ku Klux Klan would have loved us’.
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.)
Photo courtesy York Daily Record/Sunday News