Racism Renounced: A Black Man Talks With White Supremacists

Common Ground Committee Let's Find Common Ground Podcast Episode 105

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Racism Renounced: A Black Man Talks With White Supremacists

Acclaimed musician and recording artist Daryl Davis has interviewed hundreds of KKK members and other white supremacists and influenced many of them to renounce their racist ideology.

We hear his brave and remarkable story. Daryl’s personal quest began many years ago, after a concert when he was in a country music band. A card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan praised his piano playing. Daryl recognized that he had an opportunity to ask an important question about racism: “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?”

Daryl Davis is the author of “Klan-Destine Relationships” — the first book written about the Ku Klux Klan by a Black writer. His work in race relations has been highlighted in speaker series across the country. His documentary film, “Accidental Courtesy,” features his process of conversation and understanding to bridge differences and promote racial reconciliation.

Daryl Davis

Common Ground Committee Let's Find Common Ground Podcast Daryl DavisAward-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 and R&B performances, a man told him 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, visit www.DarylDavis.com.