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IPFS News Link • Heroes

How One Man Transformed Over 200 KKK Members

•, By Neenah Payne

When Daryl Davis, a Black American, befriended a KKK Imperial Wizard, he left the Klan and closed branches in 13 states. Davis helped dismantle the Maryland KKK because things "fell apart" after he made inroads with members there. In 42 years, over 200 Klansmen/Neo Nazis have renounced their racist ideology after meeting Davis. Several gave Davis their Klan robes, hoods, and flags  which he intends to display in a museum. When people tell Davis to burn the paraphernalia, he says, "Yes, it is despicable. But it's also a part of our history. And you don't burn our history: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the shameful. You expose it, so it doesn't happen again."

Davis' book Klandestine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Klu Klux Klan received numerous awards. It costs $300 as a paperback, $518 as a mass market paperback, and $4,991 in hard copy on Amazon! Davis' award-winning 2017 documentary Accidental Courtesy on PBS and Amazon describes "A musician's unusual, controversial hobby: trying to befriend members of KKK, many of whom had never met a Black person."

Davis' Pro Human Foundation helps Americans reconcile differences. Davis has traveled all over the US and the world to share his methodology. Can Davis' method help other Americans divided along political and ideological lines? Davis says, "When the conversation ceases, the ground becomes fertile for violence. That's why we always want to keep the conversation going."

See When Free Speech Dies, The Killing Begins.

How To Communicate With People You Disagree With

Daryl Davis: the black musician who converts Ku Klux Klan members.

Davis graduated from Howard University with a degree in Jazz. Grammy Award winning pianist, vocalist, and guitarist, Davis has played all over the world with legends like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. As the son of American Foreign Service members, Davis grew up in 63 countries. Until the age of 10, he lived overseas where he attended school with kids from many countries. When his family returned to America, Davis experienced racism. That puzzled him and sent him on a lifelong quest to understand the mind of racists – especially KKK members and Neo-Nazis.