How an African-American blues player convinced Ku Klux Klan Members to leave the Klan

How an African-American blues player convinced Ku Klux Klan Members to leave the Klan

Daryl Davis, blues musician, band leader and actor, initially came in contact with Ku Klux Klan members while he was the only black member of an all white country band in '83. This ended up making him, "the only black guy in many of the places where we played", said the musician.

How an African-American blues player convinced KKK Members to leave the Klan

After a performance at the Silver Dollar Lounge, Frederick, Maryland, a white man told him that he really liked his music. After settling down at the man's table, the man finally told Daryl Davis that he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan; this was Daryl Davis's first face to face encounter with a Klan member.

How an African-American blues player convinced KKK Members to leave the Klan

Since age 10, Davis has always pondered one question; "How can someone hate me without ever getting to know me?" And his unexpected encounter with the Klan member gave him the opening to try find his answer.

How an African-American blues player convinced KKK Members to leave the Klan

Davis says initially even though he built a sort of friendship with the Klan member, he didn't have their respect. Although over time these KKK members came to value his insight and ask for his opinion on important matters. This is what lead to him to believable he - gradually - was earning their respect.

How an African-American blues player convinced Ku Klux Klan Members to leave the Klan

Over the years, Daryl Davis has convinced 25 members of the Ku Klux Klan to leave the organisation simply through dialogue and friendly conversation... and he has their robes to prove it (as shown in the picture below).

How an African-American blues player convinced Ku Klux Klan Members to leave the Klan

Due to his "friendly" approach on to the issue of race relations, Daryl Davis has attracted criticism from popular movements like Black Lives Matter, who's view is that Davis is "Defeating their purpose". While Daryl Davis's view is that the Black Lives Matter movement isn't taking the right approach towards solving the issue. Saying, "You don't change the system without changing the people behind the system. That's why I'm sitting down with them and I've had success."

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