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Department of History

Lou Williams

Associate Professor

Lou WilliamsOffice: 204A Calvin Hall
Email: lwill@k-state.edu

My interests as a historian are directly related to growing up in the deep South during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Watching with horror as my hometown-Birmingham-seethed then exploded with racial tension, I experienced a deep need to understand. Hence my research and the classes I teach explore the Constitutional and racial issues of American history. My first book, The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871-1872, grapples with the problems of Reconstruction in South Carolina and the failure of the U.S. Government under the 14th and 15th Amendments to sustain a rule of law strong enough to protect the former slaves as citizens. I am currently completing a book that examines the federal government's ongoing efforts to protect African American voting rights after the formal end of Reconstruction in 1877.

Select Publications

Introduction to Bitter Freedom: William Stone's Record of Service in the Freedmen's Bureau. University of South Carolina Press, 2008.

The Great South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials, 1871-1872. University of Georgia Press, 1996.

"The Ellenton Riot Case and Federal Enforcement of Black Rights in post-Redemption South Carolina," in Donald G. Nieman and Christopher Waldrep, Race and Criminal Justice in the American South, 1800-1900. University of Georgia Press, 2000.

"The South Carolina Ku Klux Klan Trials and Enforcement of Federal Rights, 1871-1872." Civil War History 39 (March 1993).

Courses Taught
  • HIST 554: Southern History
  • HIST 555: American Constitutional History
  • HIST 556: Bill of Rights in American History
  • HIST 533: Gilded Age
  • HIST 586: Advanced Undergraduate Seminar
  • HIST 908: Nineteenth Century United States
  • HIST 984: Topics in Southern History
  • HIST 984: Topics in American Constitutional History