A movie poster for D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation, 1921.
The Birth of a Nation was controversial because of the way it glorified the Ku Klux Klan—a white supremacist organization. The movie poster depicts a heroic version of a member of the Ku Klux Klan, wearing traditional KKK attire, riding a horse, and holding a burning torch. The KKK often used the flame in ceremonies and rituals and to burn and terrify people of color. Members of the KKK often wore masks to hide their identities and to intimidate others.