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episode six

whose nation?

In the 1920s, millions of white Americans joined a revived Ku Klux Klan. The Klan’s message—that the country was made by and for white Protestants—resonated with people throughout the country. In this episode, we consider ways in which that logic, the logic that the United States was white and Protestant and that Protestantism and whiteness went together, affected where people lived, who went to the best schools, and who built wealth.

Key Questions:

  1. How did the Klan’s logic hold together whiteness and Protestantism?
  2. How did housing policy in the mid-twentieth century affect black people and white people differently?

Reflection Questions:

  1. What, in this episode, most surprised or challenged you?
  2. In this video, Sarah explains how she had to learn not to hear “Christian” as really meaning “white Christian.” Did her story resonate with you? Have you had a similar experience or know people who have had one?
  3. How has where you live affected your life? How has where your family lived affected your life?
  4. In this video, Sarah argues that equity—and when and where people in a family were able to get it—matters in discussions about race. Do you agree or disagree? How might churches engage that issue (or should they)?

references and sources

photo credits

secondary sources

Baker, Kelly J. Gospel According to the Klan: The KKK’s Appeal to Protestant America, 1915-1930. Lawrence, Kan: University Press of Kansas, 2011.

Greene, Alison Collis. No Depression in Heaven: Religion and the Great Depression in the   Mississippi Delta. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

“Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America,”           

Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. New York: Liveright Publishing, 2017.