Book Review: Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

Reviewed by: Savannah
Genre: Biography
Format: Paperback

Page count: 224 Pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: Yes

I had stumbled across this book ordering for the store online and obviously, the title grabbed my attention. When I learned it was a true story I immediately ordered it and (not so) patiently awaited its arrival. I then started reading it right away, which is pretty strange as I was in the middle of another book and I’m a one book at a time type of gal. I was instantly hooked and read about half of it in one night. I’ll give you the Goodread’s synopsis,

“When detective Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, Detective Stallworth does his job and responds with interest, using his real name while posing as a white man. He figures he’ll receive a few brochures in the mail, maybe even a magazine, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community.

A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he’d never have to answer, “Would you like to join our cause?” This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows, and major magazine interviews preaching a “kinder” Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve a heritage, and to restore a nation to its former glory.

Ron answers the caller’s question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the “white” Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even befriends David Duke himself.

Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller, and a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back.”

Reading this book it’s so hard to believe that its all truthful. It’s one of those books that if someone had written a fictional account you would have thought they had an extremely active imagination, but that’s not the case. It all really did happen. I personally found that this book was the perfect mix between a narrative to follow and facts. I learned a lot about the KKK that I had never known before. As a Canadian I feel like I have never really gotten a proper history lesson of the KKK as it just wasn’t relevant to the curriculum so learning about them was fascinating. Everything from why they wear what they do to even why they first started was very important to learn. I also really enjoyed getting a glimpse into police operatives in the 70s.

I think that given our current political culture this book is a very important read. Reading and knowing about the hatred of our past and being able to relate that to current events that are happening.  This book is also a really short and quick read so that’s can always an added bonus! Now, I just cant wait to see the film adaptation and compare the two.

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4 Responses to Book Review: Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth

  1. Iskarius says:

    I knew about the film, but I hadn’t heard that it was based on a book. Sounds interesting. I might need to give this a read. Thank you for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a different take. I felt that the book didn’t offer any more insight into the KKK than I already knew and that the first ten chapters were very anticlimactic. To me, the book didn’t really find its legs until chapter 11–the final chapter where Stallworth seems overly critical of African Americans.


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