Film screenings to take place throughout Black History Month
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Nationally renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump brings his expertise and experience to a role as producer to the new documentary “How to Sue the Klan.” The film, which will be screened beginning in Black History Month, features the heroic efforts of five Black women who fought the Ku Klux Klan in a landmark 1982 civil trial and emerged victorious. After surviving a racially-motivated mass shooting on the streets of Chattanooga, the women invoked the little-known Civil War-era Ku Klux Klan Act to win their case, a strategy that still serves as a model in the fight against racial violence today.
“‘How to Sue the Klan tells the grueling story of the brave women of the Chattanooga Five in their fight against injustice,” said Crump. “The film’s plot mirrors our modern times, as we still battle the ugly face of racism in our country with civil action. I am honored to be part of the outstanding team that made this film come to life and look forward to sharing it with the world.”
“How to Sue the Klan” is a timely and urgent documentary that explores the use of legal strategies to combat racial violence. Two of the three Klan members responsible for the attack were acquitted in criminal court and the third was sentenced to just a few months, but civil rights lawyers used the Ku Klux Klan Act to sue them for damages in civil court. The landmark trial four decades ago set a precedent that exposed how the Klan could be hit hardest: in their bank accounts. The judgment also included an injunction against all Klan activities in Chattanooga, forever banning the KKK from the city. The film explores the impact of the trial, the legacy of the five women who fought for justice, and the ongoing relevance of the Ku Klux Klan Act in today’s fight against organized hate.
In 2022, the Netflix documentary “Civil” followed Crump’s mission to raise the value of Black life as the civil lawyer for the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Black farmers. The film was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary and received the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary. Crump also hosted “Who Killed Tupac: The Search For Justice” on A&E and executive produced the Emmy-nominated “Woman in Motion,” a 2019 film on actress Nichelle Nichols’ role in diversifying NASA and the astronomy field.
“How to Sue the Klan” is a call to action for attorneys and advocates to focus on civil rights and use the Ku Klux Klan Act as a tool to fight for justice. The film was directed by Emmy® nominated filmmaker and Chattanooga resident John Beder.
Screenings of “How to Sue the Klan” will be held throughout Black History Month and beyond, with the following events already scheduled:
- February 9: 6:00 pm ET, Chattanooga Premiere at the Walker Theater in Chattanooga, Tenn.
- February 10: 4:00 pm PT, Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, Calif.
- February 11: 1:15 pm PT, Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, Calif.
- February 17: 4:00 pm ET, Chattanooga Downtown Library in Chattanooga, Tenn.
- February 26: 6:00 pm ET, New York University in New York, N.Y.
- February 27: 6:00 pm ET, Pace University in White Plains, N.Y.
- February 29: 12:30 pm ET, Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
- February 29: 6:00 pm ET, Boston University in Boston, Mass.
If you are interested in purchasing or screening the film for an educational institution, nonprofit, community organization, or other entity, please visit this website for more information.
ABOUT BEN CRUMP LAW
Through his work, nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has spearheaded a legal movement to better protect the rights of marginalized citizens. He has led landscape-changing civil rights cases and represented clients in a wide range of areas including civil rights, personal injury, labor and employment, class actions, and more. Ben Crump Law is dedicated to holding the powerful accountable. For more information, visit bencrump.com.