Black man infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan

The Applachian, North Carolina/September 26, 2006
By Lindsay Tigar

A record number of Appalachian State University students and faculty attended the Center for Multi-Cultural Student Development speaker series last Wednesday.

The speaker of the event, Daryl Davis, is a black man who wrote a book on his first-hand accounts with the Ku Klux Klan, "Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan.”

"The turnout for Daryl Davis was greater than any speaker series in my eight years at Appalachian,” Center for Multi-Cultural Student Development Director Tracey L. Wright said.

"We usually get anywhere from 100-150 in attendance and Davis brought in 250.”

National programs such as CNN and Good Morning America have accredited his book and his relationship with the Ku Klux Klan.

Davis started becoming involved with the KKK after he met one of the members at the Silver Dollar Lounge in Fredrick, Md. where he was playing with his band.

This man was impressed with Davis' talent on the piano and compared him to Jerry Lee Louis.

They became friends and the man gave Davis the contact information to the former leader, or "imperial dragon,” of the KKK, Roger Kelly, to interview for his book.

After his interview with Kelly, Davis was invited to attend KKK rallies and to eat dinner with Kelly's family.

Although they had opposing beliefs, Davis and Kelly continued to keep a strong friendship and, partly due to Davis' influence, Kelly renounced his title and formally left the Klan over three years ago.

In his speech, Davis challenged students and faculty to "take time to get to know different races, cultures or religions and to listen to their customs or opinions.”

He also said to "get involved, because racism affects everyone and shouldn't be passed from generation to generation.”

Davis accredits his ability to unite different races by taking the time to listen to others and to listen to his music, because he said music unites people.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.