Daryl Davis

Klan-Destine Relationships

Author Daryl Davis will speak on the UTC campus on Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m. in the former New Monumental Church building located across from Brown Academy on 8th Street, one block south of McCallie Avenue.

He is not white. He's not even light-skinned. Make no mistake about it, he is black. Daryl Davis, author of the book Klan-Destine Relationships has come in closer contact with members of the Ku Klux Klan than most white non-members and certainly most blacks. And the relationship continues, making Davis one of the most unique lecturers on the college speaking circuit today.

Over the last ten years, Daryl Davis has walked on the edge with one foot dangling over the precipice. His stories of setting up surprise meetings with Klan leaders unaware of his skin color and attending KKK rallies has the suspense of a Hitchcock tale, keeping audiences riveted.

On a quest to do nothing more than explore racism and gather information for his book, Klan-Destine Relationships, Davis eventually became the recipient of robes and hoods by Klan members who came to him to rescind their beliefs. Davis had inadvertently stumbled upon a successful method of forming friendships between sworn enemies. His methods have made him the center of controversy. In some white circles he has been deemed "politically incorrect" and in some black circles he been called "Uncle Tom." Daryl Davis often makes supporters out of his detractors by proving his methods work and issuing this challenge: "I have Klan robes and hoods hanging in my closet, given to me voluntarily by members who have quit the Klan since coming to know me. That's what I've done to improve race relations. How many robes and hoods have you received as a result of your methods?"

Davis has earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from Howard University. An accomplished blues and R&B musician, he performs regularly with his own Daryl Davis Band. He has toured extensively with Muddy Water's Legendary Blues Band and Chuck Berry, among others.

 

For the full calendar of UTC Black History Month events, please click here.