Shared Stories

“Running from the Ku Klux Klan”  

Well, let me tell you something, man. The Ku Klux Klan has a long and dark history of violence and hatred towards African Americans. In the late 90s, there were several reported incidents of violence and murder committed by members of the KKK against African Americans. However, I don’t have the exact numbers on how many African Americans were killed. 

 Here my story of the night I ran from the Ku Klux Klan. Looking back on the situation now I understand “how dangerous my actions were”. But you know teenagers “I thought I was invasive”. I remember it like it was yesterday.  In the late 90’s when I was 16 around years old, I moved to “Cliff Hill Townhome” in Burnsville MN, with a Caucasian American family. I was the only African American” living in that area at the time. I recall the foster parents I moved in with telling me they wanted me to continue to go to school in Saint Paul because it was safer. So, I took three city buses to school and back every day. 

 After school to relax, I would go sit at “North River Hills Park” which was around 50 feet from my front door. Although, I enjoyed being at “North River Hills Park” I know to be out that park and off the street before dark. “You See” the Ku Klux Klan was nice enough to spray paint all over the restroom building “If we you catch, we will kill you n***er” and even signed it KKK. At first, I recall thinking “it's just some stupid kids”. However, one day me and some friends decided to sneak out of the house late at night to see if we could see anything happening at the park. At about 11pm in the pitch of the night darkness we snuck out and perched on the top of the hill at the entry to the park. 

 To my surprise there was a group of man dressed in white sheets and head cover about 50 yards away from us downhill. We snuck out often to trying to map out their meeting schedule we did the almost the whole summer. Each time we seen them meeting we would inch a little closer and closer, but never to close where they could see us. One night we proceed as usual to watch one of their late-night meetings. However, this time of the friends I was with thought it would be smart to yelling “F*** You” to the top of his lungs. My heart was racing as they all stopped what they were doing and started looking around. Their curiosity seemed to fade after about “five of the longest minutes of my life”. My friend could stop laughing at what he had just done. I guess that gave him courage to try it again. And again, tried it he did. “F*** You” to the top of his lungs he shouts. But this time they pen-pointed where it came from and now, we have about 12 grown men running toward to hill where we laid. I remember jumping up as fast as I could and booking it towards the townhome. Lucky they were clearly out of shape adults chasing fit teenagers. We made it back to the townhomes before they could see where we ran. After informing my foster parents of what happened they moved out within a week back to the inter-city. This would be my first experience with living in a low minority community. But, far from my last.