A change is coming to a town in Laurens, South Carolina and that’s because of Rev. David Kennedy.
Rev. Kennedy who is the founder of the Echo Project has plans to change the former meeting headquarters of the KKK to a diversity center. The place in question was known as “World’s Only Klan Museum,” which sold neo-Nazi items and held meetings for white supremacist groups.
As a person who grew up during the Jim Crow era, Kennedy recalls his experience with racism. During a recent interview, he said that his grandparents lived in an apartment marked with the letter “C” which meant “colored.”
He also stated that his great-great-uncle was murdered after being falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit
As reported by NBC, Kennedy said, “So, while residents were outraged, it wasn’t entirely shocking when a self-professed Ku Klux Klan member, John Howard Jr., opened the Redneck Shop, a KKK museum, store, and meeting in 1996 at an old segregated movie theater in the city.”
After the store closed in 2012, Kennedy was joined by Regan Freeman who helped create the Echo Project. They would acquire the store in 2017 after many protests and much retaliation.
“This new place will be a place to encourage people… We want to create an atmosphere where everyday people will feel the freedom to speak,” Kennedy said.
The center will have a museum in it and is set to open in 2023.