A black American became a mate with 200 racists and white supremacists to teach them tolerance and respect for each other. Named Daryl Davis, this 58-year-old bluesman spent close to thirty years of his life cooking Ku Klux Klan members across the United States. He told his story in, and it has since been widely relayed in the media.
Daryl Davis has agreed to return on his odyssey to meet the KKK in the documentary Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America (Accidental Friendship: Daryl Davis, race and America), released on December 9. He also published a book about his experience, which began in the 1980s he described in an English newspaper friendships he forged with a former supporter of the clan:
“Once, while I was playing [piano] in a concert hall before a predominantly white audience, a white man approached me during my break, and put his arm around my shoulders and exclaimed: ‘This is the first time I hear a black guy play like Jerry Lee Lewis.’ […] I told him that Jerry Lee was inspired by the black genre, the boogie-woogie, and blues pianists … He was curious and wanted to know more about me. I then knew he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Over time, we became good friends and he eventually left the KKK. “
“How can you hate me?”
Stories such as this one, the musician has a shovel, since no less than 200 people convinced him to abandon the racist organization. “I never hoped to convince a member of the Klan,” he says and continues:
“I only looked for answers to my question: ‘How can you hate me when you do not even know me?'”
His film won awards at three film festivals, including the SXSW, a renowned cultural event in the United States. Check out the trailer for this madly inspiring adventure above.