Register Monday | June 26 | 2017
Ku Klux Canada Illustration by Paul Gagner.

Ku Klux Canada

Robyn Maynard on our nation’s forgotten and far-from-over history of populist anti-Black violence.

On February 28, 1930, seventy-five men in white robes and hoods staged a march through Oakville, Ontario. According to archival research completed by historian Constance Backhouse, after planting and burning a cross in the middle of town, the men drove to the home of an interracial couple—Ira Johnson, a Black man, and Isabel Jones, a white woman. 

They brought Jones to the home of her white relatives before forcing a petrified Johnson into a car, retrieving his elderly aunt and uncle, returning to his house, and trapping the family inside. The Klansmen surrounded the house, placed a large cross on a post in the front yard, and set the cross on fire. A Black neighbour eventually located the police and informed them of the situation.

When the police chief, Chief Kerr, arrived and investigated the surrounding area, he discovered a caravan of cars filled with men in white robes ...

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