Tag Archives: Ron Stallworth

Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime Book Review

The hope is that we see each other as human beings before we see each other based upon labels such as skin color religion, family origin, etc. But for some, the only thing they can see is these labels.

In 2014, Ron Stallworth, a retired police officer, published his memoir, Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime. In the 1970’s, Detective Stallworth was the first African-American to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. While on duty one day, he discovered an advertisement in the local newspaper from the KKK for those who are seeking additional information. Detective Stallworth calls the number on the ad, using his real name, but pretending to be white. This leads to an undercover investigation that almost seems like a work of well written fiction instead of a true story.

There are two ways to get a message across, especially when it comes overall societal change that is badly needed. The message can either be sent by a proverbial hit on the head, or it can be illustrated by heroes who are willing to step up and show what the change looks like. This memoir proves that change is possible when we are willing to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.

I recommend it.

 

 

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BlacKkKlansman Movie Review

Spike Lee is known for speaking to his audience without hitting them over the head.

His new movie, BlacKkKlansman, was released yesterday. In the 1970’s Ron Stallworth (John David Washington, son of respected actor Denzel Washington) is not only a new recruit in the Colorado Springs police department, but he is also the first police officers of color on the squad. While browsing through a local newspaper, he stops on an ad for the KKK and calls them, pretending to be white. Surprisingly, he receives a call back. Ron goes undercover with the help of Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), a fellow cop who is Jewish. Flip plays Ron in person while Ron plays a white version of himself over the phone. They even go so far as to make contact with David Duke (Topher Grace).  While this is happening, Ron is seeing Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), who is a local activist in the civil rights movement.

Will Ron and Flip be exposed or will they be able to stop the KKK in their tracks?

Based on a book by the real life Ron Stallworth, this movie blew me out of the water. The movie was funny, uncomfortable and forced the audience to really think about how we view race in America. Though it is set in the 1970’s, it speaks to the audience in 2018. While I won’t give the ending away, I will say that you could hear a pin drop as the final moments of the film played. It was that powerful.

I’ve seen quite a few movies this year. BlacKkKlansman is one of the best films of 2018. If I were a betting woman, I would say that this movie will do very well come award season.

I absolutely recommend this movie.

BlacKkKlansman is presently in theaters. 

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Filed under Books, History, Movie Review, Movies