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DIGITAL PROGRAM

SPECIAL GUESTS

6:00pm

Walker Upstairs Lobby

Guest Links

WELCOME REMARKS

7:05pm
James McKissic
Carmen Davis

Shadrina Booker


FILM BEGINS

7:20pm
 

"THREADS"

8:00pm

Written and Performed by Erika Roberts
 

A CONVERSATION

8:05
Randolph McLaughlin

Ardena Garth Hicks

CLOSING

9:00pm
Reflection Room Open

EVENT SPONSORS

Chattanooga City Seal
Tivoli logo
UTC logo
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THE STORY

On April 19, 1980, four Black women stood waiting for a cab on Chattanooga’s 9th St. when a car passed, driven by a local Ku Klux Klan leader. His passengers, also Klansmen, worked together to fire shotgun blasts from the open window.

 

The gunfire wounded the four friends, and a fifth woman was struck by flying glass as the Klansman continued up the road, firing more shots. In criminal court, an all-white jury acquitted two of the Klansmen and sentenced the third to just nine months. He served only six. Civil unrest followed the verdict, sparking national attention and that of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York City. The organization had been waiting for the right opportunity to use a new legal strategy against hate groups in civil court. 

CCR attorney Randolph McLaughlin and his legal team brought the shooters to federal civil court on behalf of the injured women. McLaughlin successfully argued that they were entitled to compensation based on a Reconstruction-era law called the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Act. President Grant signed this act into law following the Civil War to curb racial violence in a lawless South where law enforcement and public officials were often Klansmen themselves. It allowed the prosecution of civil rights violations in federal civil court, which meant that survivors could still sue for damages in civil court when the criminal court failed.

 

Not only did the court award the women today’s equivalent of over $1.5 million, but they issued an injunction against all Klan activities in the city of Chattanooga.

 

To this day, Chattanooga residents can thank these women for driving the Klan out of the city forever. McLaughlin’s use of the KKK Act set a nationwide legal precedent that allowed more racial violence cases to be tried in civil courts with the same statute, chipping away at the Klan’s power and funding over time. As they were sued all over the nation, financial losses and diminished influence forced Klan outfits out of more cities. Today, the precedent set by the Chattanooga Five is still used to fight hate in a time when racial violence is again on the rise. Thanks to Viola Ellison, Lela Evans, Opal Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Fannie Mae Crumsey, we now have the tools to fight it.

Community Care Mental Health Fund

Sponsored by 

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CREDITS

DIRECTOR
John Beder

PRODUCERS
John Beder
Benjamin L. Crump
Cameron S. Mitchell
Raji Ramanathan

CO-PRODUCERS
Tiffany Herron
Jazmine King Leblanc
Nicole Brown

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Chris Moody
Tarrisha Hicks

CINEMATOGRAPHERS
John Beder
Victor Tyler

EDITOR
Nina Vizcarrondo

MUSIC BY
Amanda Jones
Kristen Personius 
Nikhil Seetharam

SOUND MIX & DESIGN
Summer Dregs

COLOR CORRECTION & GRADE
Patrice D. Bowman

ADDITIONAL EDITING & ANIMATION
Katie DeRoche

RESEARCHERS
Rita Lorraine Hubbard
Stephanie Bagnall
Katelyn Donovan

ARCHIVAL PRODUCERS
Amy Brillhart
Johanna Schiller
Issa Clubb

BEDROCK PRODUCERS
Antine Rieger
Alea Tveit

CONSULTING WRITERS
Chaseedaw Giles
Karen Everett
Regina Marler

ADDITIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
Juan O’Grady
Chidi Nobi
Tanè Hopper

Trailer Editors
Whitney Skauge
Samuel Vladirimsky

Poster By
The Robot Eye

Digital Programs
Tianna Weaver

Mural Artist
Karen L. Estes

INTERNS
James Townsend
Ethan Hardison
Jacob Redfern

Location Support From
Olivet Baptist Church
Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Southern Poverty Law Center
Humanaut
The Edney Innovation Center
New York University
Pace University
Newman Ferrara LLP
Kaplan Heckler & Fink LLP
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP

Archival Materials Courtesy Of
Auburn Avenue Research Library
Betty Lawrence Lewis
Bob Fitch Photography Archive, Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Library
Center for Constitutional Rights
Getty Images
Jeff Guenther
Lori Waite
Pond5
Randall Higgins
Randolph McLaughlin
Sinclair Communications, LLC
Sonya Rollins
Storyblocks
Epidemic Sound
The Associated Press
The Fannie Mae Crumsey Foundation
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Special Collections
WDEF-TV
WRCB-TV
WTVC-TV

FUNDING PROVIDED BY
ArtsBuild Foundation
Southeast Tennessee Development
Public Art Chattanooga
The Footprint Foundation
The Lyndhurst Foundation
The Benwood Foundation
The Robert F. Stone Foundation
Sankofa Fund
Humanities Tennessee
Appalachian Community Fund
The Tennessee Arts Commission
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Federal Bar Association - Chattanooga Chapter
Southeast Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women
Bridge Financial Planning
Bedrock Productions

SPECIAL THANKS
Nicole Francis
Bebe Winans
Vince Warren

THANK YOUS
Andy Sarajahani
Anna Protano Belk
Ashley Levett
Beccah Lanni
Ben Proudfoot
Brian Butler
Carmen Davis
Center For Constitutional Rights
Chattanooga Public Library - Local History Dept.
Chris Everett
Cindy Tucker
Corey Nimmer
Deb Socia
Don Stader
Emily Compton
Erin Cashman
Greg Pilitsis
Humanaut
James McKissic
Jared Shay
Jenna Fullerton
Jim LaFond-Lewis
Johanna O'Connell Kracke
Joy Bautista
Jules Downum
Kathleen Nolte
Katie Sprinkel
Katie Weissman
Kim Chapman
Kreneshia Whiteside
Kt McVeigh
Lisa Goldberg
Lori Quillen
Lucie McCormick
Madi Chwasta
Manuel Papale
Mari Smith
Mariann Martin
Marie Mott
Mark Brady
Marty O'Connell
Meghan Downs
Melissa Astin
Michael D. Thompson
Michael Ellison
Michael Gilliland
Miriam Manda
Mitchell Gribbroek
Miya Winans
Nadia Tremonti
Nicholas Alexander
NYU Special Collections; Michael Koncewicz
Paula Wilkes
Randy Williams
Rebekah Gouger
Riccardo Morris
Robert and Lisa Naparstek
Sarah Elizabeth
Sheila Williams
Simon Eisenberg
Southern Poverty Law Center
Sung-Joon Pai
Susan Eckelmann Berghel
Suzanne Barrett
The Net Resource Foundation
UTC Special Collections; Carolyn Runyon, Jennifer Berzin, Erin Ryan, April Mitchell
YiQiao Li

FISCAL SPONSOR
Southern Documentary Fund

SDF MENTORS
Alexis Galfas
Byron Hurt
Carla Gutiérrez
Rebekah Ferguson
Sabrina Schmidt Gordon

LEGAL SERVICES
Southwestern Law School Entertainment & the Arts Legal Clinic

Professors:
Jay Gendron
Shannon Hensley
Orly Ravid
Kathy M. Lombard
 
Clinicians:
Rosemary Tamayo
Lauren Landau
Anthony Chavez
Jacob Lee
Zehara Eden
Quentin Warren
Matthew Duffy
Jacob Halajian
Brynn Bodair
Hunter Harper

Yale University - Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic

 

Professors:
Sandra Baron
Jennifer Borg

Clinician:
Aren Torikian

Clearance Counsel 
Donaldson Callif Perez, LLP
Dale Nelson
Emma Ebers

The Chattanooga Five
Fannie Mae Crumsey
Viola Ellison
Lela Mae Evans
Opal Jackson
Katherine Johnson

©2024 How to Sue the Klan

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