Native History: Ku Klux Klan Formed as a Secret Fraternity in Tennessee - ICTMN.com: Although often considered a force against African Americans, members of the KKK also have targeted American Indians. One of the most vivid examples came in the 1958 incident known as the Battle of Hayes Pond, in Robeson County, North Carolina.
Indians with guns raid a Klan gathering near Maxton. (Associated Press)
In the years following the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, which called for the desegregation of public schools, the KKK presence increased in North Carolina. On the night of January 13, 1958, the Klan burned crosses on the front lawns of two Lumbee families who recently moved into a predominantly white neighborhood.
According to news reports from 1958, Robeson County’s population was tri-racial, with 40,000 whites, 30,000 American Indians and 25,000 African Americans. Each group operated a separate school system.
The KKK, led by James W. “Catfish” Cole, scheduled a rally for the night of January 18, 1958, to “put the Indians in their place, to end race mixing.” About 100 Klan members gathered under the light of a single bulb, but they quickly were surrounded by as many as 1,000 Lumbees, who shot the light bulb and fired guns into the air. The Klan scattered and never again held a public meeting in Robeson County.
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