This concluding chapter describes how armed self-defense could be detrimental to the Black Power movement. Clashes between black armed groups and the Ku Klux Klan underscore that armed resistance to segregationist violence was far from exceptional and raise crucial questions about its limitations. One can only speculate why no sweeping actions were taken against these groups. Perhaps southern authorities feared that disarming the black population might prompt federal authorities to intervene more forcefully on behalf of African Americans. It is likewise conceivable that white politicians were concerned that such illegal actions might trigger racial warfare in rural southern communities. The fact that blacks had guns and were determined to use them certainly lent credibility to such apprehensions. Regardless of the reasons, restrained responses by law enforcement could not halt the activities of black defense squads.
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