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An Uncensored Look Into Life in the Ku Klux Klan

The son of an Imperial Wizard of a North Carolina based Klan realm. (Anthony Karen)

Gaining access to secretive pockets of society is based on trust. It’s that trust that photographer Anthony Karen sees as the foundation of photojournalism. “It’s a moment that’s constantly validated, the wordless acceptance into someone’s personal space with a camera,” Karen wrote to Slate.

After documenting Vodou rituals in Haiti, Skinheads, and the Westboro Baptist Church, Karen finds himself accepted by the Ku Klux Klan. He began photographing the Klan in 2005, after reaching out to members through phone numbers and e-mails listed on websites. After earning their trust, he was allowed unrestricted access to photograph.

His efforts have been published in his book White Pride and led to a collaboration with the Discover Channel on the documentary KKK: Beneath the Hood.

More photographs and Karen’s take on maintaining a balanced perspective are on Slate’s Behold photo blog.

Members from a Midwestern-based Klan realm on a flyer drive. (Anthony Karen)

The granddaughter of an Imperial Wizard of a southern-based Klan realm. (Anthony Karen)

Carl, an Imperial Wizard of a southern-based Ku Klux Klan realm, takes aim with a pellet gun at a large cockroach (on the piece of paper just below the clock) while his wife and goddaughter try to avoid getting struck by a possible ricochet. (Anthony Karen)

“Little Charlie” of the Louisiana-based Dixie Rangers of the Ku Klux Klan displays her custom-made wedding veil as her fiancé looks on. (Anthony Karen)

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