C. P. Ellis had experienced much in his lifetime. He went from poverty to financial independence. He was involved in different organizations in order to make himself feel valid. This helped him gain back his self esteem. In his lifetime, he blamed all of his problems on black individuals and became racist. Studs Terkel in his essay, “C.P. Ellis,” explains the way Ellis overcame his racist beliefs. Throughout his lifetime, Ellis has achieved many other accomplishments. According to Terkel, C.P. Ellis worked several years at a service station prior to getting married. When he started to have a family, he knew he would need to change his financial situation, so he borrowed money from the bank to purchase his own service station. He ran his service station seven days a week, and he still wasn’t getting ahead. He was very unhappy with his life; therefore, he blamed his problems on black people because of his father’s racial influence on him as a child. Terkel points out that the reason for his hatred is because his father “was a member of the Klan.” Ellis always admired the Ku Klux Klan because they had supported the whites, and in his mind becoming a member of the Klan would make his life better. He worked his way up to become president of the organization by repeating the vows and promises to maintain the Klan’s mission. Very excited and proud to be involved in an organization that he felt would empower him, Ellis focused on leading his fellow Klansmen. C.P. Ellis understood why low socio-economic individuals would join various groups of society. These groups supported their longing to belong and not be ignored. He realized that the local high school had racial problems, and proceeded to organize a youth group at the high school, and taught them the ways of the Klan. He believed that Martin Luther King and Andy Young were both affiliated with the communist party. The civil rights movement had already begun when C.P. Ellis saw Ann...
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