Fact Hero: Daryl Davis — Making Ex-Klansmen, One at a Time

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Fact Heroes, Racism (Us vs Them)

Fact Hero: Daryl Davis — Making Ex-Klansmen, One at a Time

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Fact Heroes, Racism (Us vs Them)

Musician Daryl Davis has an unusual hobby. He’s played all over the world with legends like Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. But it’s what Daryl does in his free time that sets him apart.

Daryl meets and becomes friends with members of the Ku Klux Klan—something few black men can say. In his travels, he’s collected robes and other artifacts from former klansmen, building a collection piece by piece, story by story, person by person.

A film has been produced about Daryl, Accidental Courtesy. It traces Daryl’s journey across the country, from DC to California, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Alabama, from old friends who have left the klan, to friends still active in the organization, including a current Imperial Wizard of the KKK.

Daryl posed a question to members of Klan he met over the years, “How can you hate me when you don’t even know me?” And then he simply has a conversation. It might happen quickly, in most cases it does not. But Daryl persists in meeting and having conversations with people who think they hate him. But the results are the real story. Over the years, hundreds of now former white supremacists have become Daryl’s friends.

We call Daryl a Fact Hero because his activities and his success rest on two facts: people are basically good, and racism is learned behavior, not inherent in people. Humans are the only race of man. Daryl has proven this many, many times.

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