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Man Who Infiltrated KKK, dies

MIAMI - Author and folklorist Stetson Kennedy, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan six decades ago died yesterday at Baptist Medical Center South near St. Augustine, Fla. He was 94.

Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American NewsKennedy exposed the KKK's secrets to authorities and the public but was also criticized for possibly exaggerating his exploits.

“Stetson Kennedy was a man of the utmost integrity who led a storied life fighting for equality and justice. His difficult, dangerous work exposing violence and hatred helped to level the playing field for millions who otherwise may not have been able to compete academically, economically or politically,” Mayor Brown said. “I celebrate his accomplishments, mourn his passing and keep his family in my prayers.”

A note on his website said Stetson was with his wife and stepdaughter and was in no apparent pain. "As just before his passing, he was lucid. The doctor, checking his mental faculties asked him, "where are you from?" Kennedy replied, "The planet Earth."

Stetson's wishes were for a party and not a funeral. A luncheon celebrating his life will be held at Beluthahatchee October 1st.

In the 1940s, Kennedy used the "Superman" radio show to expose and ridicule the Klan's rituals. In the 1950s he wrote "I Rode with the Ku Klux Klan," which was later renamed "The Klan Unmasked," and "The Jim Crow Guide."

"Exposing their folklore - all their secret handshakes, passwords and how silly they were, dressing up in white sheets" was one of the strongest blows delivered to the Klan, said Peggy Bulger, director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press. She was a friend of Kennedy for about 30 years and did her doctoral thesis on his work as a folklorist.

"If they weren't so violent, they would be silly."  


STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News

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