© 2024 WUTC
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A Chattanooga Story: The Documentary “How To Sue The Klan”

Poster for “How to Sue the Klan.”
How to Sue the Klan

It happened here in Chattanooga forty-four years ago down the road from our studios today here at WUTC.

In 1980, four Black women were waiting for a cab on Ninth St. - now Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

A car driven by a local leader of the Ku Klux Klan passed them.

His passengers in the car - also Klansmen - fired shotgun blasts from an open window of the car at the four women.

They were wounded - and a fifth woman was struck by flying glass as the Klansmen traveled up the road, firing more shots.

In criminal court, an all-white jury acquitted two of the Klansmen, sentencing the third to just nine months.

Days of unrest followed here in Chattanooga - and the national attention set the stage for a civil case that successfully used a new legal strategy against the Klan and other hate groups in civil court.

That story is told in a new documentary - “How to Sue the Klan” - and it will premiere at the Walker Theatre on Friday, February 9th.

The documentary is produced by civil rights attorney Ben Crump - and directed by John Beder, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and resident of this city.

I spoke with John - and Chattanooga historian Rita Lorraine Hubbard.

Stay Connected
Ray is the host and producer of Scenic Roots, Mondays - Thursdays at 3 PM on WUTC.