BlacKkKlansman A Memoir

After viewing the BlacKkKlansman movie directed by Spike Lee, I discovered the movie was based on a book. Ron Stallworth is a real person who’s undercover investigation fooled the Klan. My expectation upon reading this book was to read about the KKK investigation with added history interwoven in the story. This book delivered exactly what I was looking for.

After viewing the BlacKkKlansman movie directed by Spike Lee, I discovered the movie was based on a book. Ron Stallworth is a real person who’s undercover investigation fooled the Klan. My expectation upon reading this book was to read about the KKK investigation with added history interwoven in the story. This book delivered exactly what I was looking for.

Ron Stallworth joined the Colorado Springs Police Department in the early 1970s. Assigned to guard police records, Stallworth wanted more from his career. In a few years, Stallworth is transferred to the undercover division of the police department. After seeing the KKK recruitment in a newspaper, he decided to infiltrate the Klan. With help from his white police officers, Stallworth convinced David Duke over the phone that he is invested in preserving the white race.

Besides reading the undercover story, Ron adds historical information to keep the reader invested. Ron discusses the history of the KKK along with the specific timeline of the KKK in Colorado. Back in the 1920s, the KKK was everywhere in Colorado. The senate, the governor, and the police were either Klan members or paid off by the Klan. For a while, the Denver airport was named after a politician who was an active Klan member. This was all new information to me. It saddens me that an airport was named after such a racist person.

One of the major criticisms I have of this book is Ron’s writing. The first page had one of the longest run-on sentences I have ever read. At times, Ron repeats statements to the point where I ask myself if I already read this section of the book. This book could have been edited better, but on the flip side, the book feels more authentic because Ron’s original writing is featured.

It’s crucial to mention the differences between the book and the movie. Some of the negative book reviews I read said this book was boring. In the BlacKkKlansman movie, Ron Stallworth (played by John David Washington) is trying to stop a bomb plot planned by the KKK. This is added into the movie for flair, but it’s complete fiction. The book tells the story accurately, while the movie adds fictional events.

I rated BlacKkKlansman five stars because Ron’s writing didn’t keep me from enjoying the book. He does a great job detailing the chronological story of the investigation. This has to be one of my favorite non-fiction books I read in 2020

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