Movie Of The Week: The Black Klansman – I Crossed The Color Line

The Black Klansman

The Black Klansman

After a black man’s daughter is killed by the KKK, he seeks revenge by becoming a Klansman.

The Black Klansman is a feature film originally released in 1966 under the name I Crossed the Color Line. Set during the struggle for civil rights, the film tells the story of an African-American man, played by Richard Gilden, who disguises himself as a white man to join the Ku Klux Klan to seek revenge on Klan members who killed his daughter.

Widower Jerry Ellsworth, a light-skinned Negro nightclub entertainer living in Los Angeles, learns that his 6-year-old daughter has been killed in a Ku Klux Klan church bombing in Alabama. In order to track down the murderer, Jerry leaves and goes to Alabama. Passing for white, he joins the Klan at the invitation of the local Klan leader. Meanwhile, the brother of another bombing victim hires two gangsters from Harlem to deal with the Head Klansmen. The pair attack a Klan rally, shooting several people. Jerry, who has been having an affair with a Klansmen’s daughter, learns that friends from the nightclub have arrived from Los Angeles. A white & Negro friend looking for him arrive and are quickly seized by the sheriff, who plans to lynch them along with the New York gangsters. The gangsters are hanged, but Jerry rescues white & Negro friend. He shoots the Head Klansman in self-defense, revealing the Klan leader’s responsibility for his daughter’s death. The town’s white mayor, a changed man, agrees to work for racial harmony, and Jerry decides to remain in Alabama among his people.

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