Nathan Bedford Forrest is considered by some to be one of the most infamous and powerful racists in American history. The first official leader of the Ku Klux Klan, some historians allege that Lieutenant General Forrest's most heinous act was ordering his troops to slaughter hundreds of surrendered soldiers at 1864's Battle of Fort Pillow, more than half of whom were African American. Others celebrate him as the physical manifestation of the South's ethos during the Civil War and beyond: a rebel hero who relentlessly campaigned for his cause until it became untenable; he never gave up, even after his death.
There's an equestrian statue of Forrest in Memphis's Forrest Park, and lately it's been at the center of the city's often shaky race relations. This February, after the City Council demanded the statue be removed and the park renamed, the local KKK announced its plans to hold a massive rally in protest. And we were there to watch it all go down.
Role: Associate Producer