Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies. | Daryl Davis | TEDxNaperville

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Shared December 8, 2017

A chance encounter with members of the Ku Klux Klan led black musician Daryl Davis on a quest to determine the source of the hate. His unorthodox, yet simple approach, has wielded surprising results and just might be the solution for all racial discourse.

Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University with a degree in Jazz. As a pianist, vocalist, and guitarist, he performs nationally and internationally with The Daryl Davis Band. He has also worked with such notables as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, The Legendary Blues Band, and many others.

In 1983, A chance occurrence after one of his performances led him to befriend a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This eventually led Daryl to become the first black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members, all detailed in his book, Klan-Destine Relationships. Today, Daryl owns numerous Klan robes and hoods, given to him by active members who became his friends and renounced the organization.

Since his journey began, Davis has joined an all-white country band, attended KKK rallies, and accepted a “certificate of friendship” from the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK. He’s even the godfather of former Klan Imperial Wizard Roger Kelly’s granddaughter.

Davis has received the Elliott-Black and MLK awards as well as numerous other local and national awards for his work in race relations, and is often sought by media outlets as a consultant on the KKK and race relations. He is also an actor with stage and screen credits, appearing in the critically acclaimed HBO police drama, The Wire, and most recently, as 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

Davis has received the Elliott-Black and MLK awards as well as numerous other local and national awards for his work in race relations, and is often sought by media outlets as a consultant on the KKK and race relations. He is also an actor with stage and screen credits, appearing in the critically acclaimed HBO police drama, The Wire, and most recently, as 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. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx



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