What was the group that possessed the highest status among post-civil War African Americans called?   What name applied to the Ku Klux Klan,which emerged first in December, 1865 as a fraternity of...

What was the group that possessed the highest status among post-civil War African Americans called?  

What name applied to the Ku Klux Klan,which emerged first in December, 1865 as a fraternity of former Confederate officers living in Pulaski, Tennessee?

Asked on by ceko

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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First of all, it is important to note that different textbooks might give different names to the groups that had the highest status in the African American community in the years after the Civil War.  It would probably be a good idea for you to check in your particular text to see what name it uses.  In general, the group that had the highest status was the group that might be called professionals.  These were the people in the black community who were most economically independent.  Professionals were people like clergymen, storeowners, undertakers, and other people who generally owned their own businesses providing services.  Most of these services were provided to other African Americans.  These professionals had jobs that did not involve heavy manual labor and which generally paid them more than the jobs more commonly held by African Americans.  These factors gave these groups more prestige in their community.

As for your second question, I am not exactly sure what you are asking.  The KKK itself did not have any other name.  When it was founded in Pulaski, TN, its members decided to name it the Ku Klux Klan.  It is believed that the first two words of the name were derived from the Greek word kuklos, meaning “circle.”  The KKK did not have any other name.  There are many words, such as “terrorist organization,” that can be used to describe it, but it did not have any other name.

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