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These are painful times for communities of color. How can we effectively dismantle racism?
Communities of color face visible threats. The recent murder of Ahmaud Arbery, a young Black jogger in Georgia and the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis reverberated across the country, sparking demonstrations and some violent protests that resulted in businesses being looted and burned. These cases were only the latest in a very long series of deaths of African-American men during altercations with police that spurred public outrage and violence.
To gain some insight on what can be done to address tensions between races, we speak with musician Daryl Davis, a Black man who has spent the past 35 years on a remarkable quest of speaking with, and at times befriending, members of white supremacist groups. He has helped more than 200 KKK members to renounce their racist ideology.
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Award-winning musician Daryl Davis earned a degree in Jazz and tours nationally and internationally with The Daryl Davis Band. He has worked with Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, The Legendary Blues Band and many others.
After one of Daryl’s Rock’n’Roll/Boogie Woogie performances, a man told it was the first time he’d seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained the Black origin of Lewis’s style and the man became a fan. Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This led to Daryl becoming the first Black author to interview KKK leaders and members, detailed in his book, Klan-Destine Relationships. Today, Daryl owns numerous Klan robes and hoods, given to him by active members who renounced their racist ideology after meeting him.
As a race reconciliator and lecturer, Davis has received numerous awards and is often sought by CNN, MSNBC, NPR and other media outlets as a consultant on race relations and white supremacy.
Daryl is also an actor with stage and screen credits. He appeared in the critically acclaimed HBO police drama, The Wire, and most recently, he is the subject of the documentary Accidental Courtesy, which filmed his real life encounters with Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi leaders as he helps to dismantle racism across the United States. For more information, please visit www.DarylDavis.com.