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Black Man, White Robes

February 7, 2012

There’s a big difference between Daryl Davis and some of the friends he’s made over the years. He’s black and they were in the Klan.

In an effort to explore the issue of racism, Davis traveled the dark road of the Ku Klux Klan. He arranged meetings—without revealing his race—and attended rallies of the organization more associated with lynchings, hangings and castrations than rational conversation. He emerged with a book, “Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan.”

This Friday, the author will make an appearance at Pensacola State College. The event is sponsored by the Pensacola State Black History/Multicultural Committee.

Davis is a native of Chicago, and was raised in Europe and Africa. After earning a Bachelor of Music from Howard University, he enjoyed a career as a musician and vocalist. Prior to his Klan journeys, Davis worked with musicians such as B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Percy Sledge, Muddy Water’s and Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires. He still performs today.

Over the course of a decade working on his Klan book, Davis apparently encountered numerous KKK members who renounced the group’s ideology and befriended him. Some of their white robes and hoods now hang in the author’s closet—he views them as a sort of trophy.

Davis’ work has been heralded by numerous organizations, including CNN, CNBC, the Learning Channel, National Public Radio, Washington Post, Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, American Ethical Union, and the Washington Ethical Society.

The author’s Pensacola appearance is free. It will begin at 7 p.m. in the college’s Hagler Auditorium.

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