The Birth of a Nation
Original Author: Epoch Film Co.
Created: 1915
Medium: Theatrical poster

The Birth of a Nation

An original theatrical poster for The Birth of a Nation (1915), directed by D. W. Griffith, features a knight on horseback holding aloft "the fiery cross of the Ku Klux Klan," a right-wing extremist organization. Based on Thomas Dixon's best-selling novels The Leopard's Spots (1902) and The Clansman (1905), The Birth of a Nation portrayed emancipated African Americans as a threat to democracy and white womanhood and glorified members of the Ku Klux Klan as chivalric defenders of civilization and gentility.