Teen Read: Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan by Rick Bowers

Did you know that Superman was created by two teenagers? Did you know that the KKK used to wield serious power in the U.S? This book tells the story of how the entertainment industry used the Adventures of Superman radio show to combat the pervasive influence of the KKK in the 1946 “Clan of the Fiery Cross” episodes.

Bowers provides a brief but insightful history of the KKK, its beginning after the Civil War, and cycle of influence in the U.S. Alternating chapters discuss the modest beginnings of Superman and his rise from comic book to radio show to T.V. and the silver screen.

South Side teens read the book for our March book discussion and were surprised by the long history and real power the KKK exercised. They also enjoyed the chapters about Superman and how a couple of teenagers were responsible for his creation. In book discussion, we listened to the first episode of the “Clan of the Fiery Cross” (below) and laughed at the Kellogg’s cereal commercials as well as the out-of-date insults used by the teens. They found it hard to believe that millions of kids tuned into this show just because it sounds so cheesy to us today.

Who would enjoy this book? South Side teens said: Anyone really interested in Superman or general U.S. history. Check out a a copy from DMPL!

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