To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

How One Black Blues Musician Changed 25 Members of the KKK

Caitlin Burke : Jul 26, 2016  CBN News

Some in the Black Lives Matter movement have been critical of Daryl Davis, saying he's defeating their purpose with his relational approach. But his success in changing hate and building bridges speaks for itself.

(Baltimore, MD)—[CBN News] Playing music comes as naturally as breathing for 58-year-old blues musician Daryl Davis. (Screengrab via CBN News)

"I've been playing music professionally, full time since 1980 when I graduated college at the age of 22," Davis said.

Unique Relationships Formed
Through music he's formed some unique friendships, with people like Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry. It has also led to unlikely friendships, like Roger Kelly, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

"I just happened to be, in 1983, the only black guy in this country band and consequently the only black guy in many of the places where we played," Davis said.

One place was the Silver Dollar Lounge in Frederick, Maryland. After a performance there a white man stopped Davis as he walked off the stage.

"And he says, 'You know I really like your all's music.' I said, 'Thank you,' I shook his hand ... I don't drink but I went back to his table and I had a cranberry juice with him," he recalled.

"Then he makes the remark when the waitress brings my cranberry juice, he clinks the glass and cheers me and says, 'You know this is the first time I ever sat down and had a drink with a black man,'" he continued. "Now I'm thinking, 'Wow what's going on here? This guy's really having a night of firsts.' And I said, 'Why?' Again I was nave and I wasn't trying to be facetious."

"He stared down at the table top and didn't answer me and he had a friend with him and he goes, 'Tell him, tell him, tell him,'" he continued. "I said, 'Tell me,' and finally he says, 'I'm a member of the Ku Klux Klan.'"

Unexpected Change
Since age 10, when first confronted with the realities of racism, Davis pondered one question: How can you hate me when you don't know me?

His unlikely KKK connection inspired him to start getting answers.

"Some years later I decided I was going to write a book on the Klan. I'm going to go around, cause I'm thinking now, I'm going to start with that guy and get him to hook me up with different Klan people around the country so I can ask my question," Davis said.

His research often put him in some dangerous situations, but it also led to an unexpected change in the relationship he shared with certain Klan members.

"I would ask them questions and they would answer the questions but they wouldn't ask for my opinion, they wouldn't ask me what I thought about it because they had no reason to, I'm inferior," he said.

"And then over time I would say, 'So what do you think about 'blah, blah, blah?' And they would say, 'Well I think du, da, du, da, da.' And then they would say, 'Well what do you think Daryl?'" he continued.

"And I was like wait a minute, all the sudden I have value, you really want my opinion? I didn't say that but I was thinking that so that let me know the ice was broken," Davis said. (Screengrab via CBN News)

The musician says he's convinced 25 members of the KKK to leave the organization, simply through friendly conversation.

"And when they did so, many of them gave me their robes and hoods," Davis said. "That is just not done. This uniform represents white supremacy, and you're taking it off and giving it to a black man?"

'Changing The System'
As a new generation of African-Americans enter adulthood, they're fighting racism their own way. Rather than trying to change one mind at a time as Davis has done, this activist generation uses social media to reach the masses.

Some in the Black Lives Matter movement have been critical of Davis, saying he's defeating their purpose with his relational approach.

"The fact that I would sit down and spend so much time with the 'enemy' when I should be devoting my time to defeating the system of white supremacy," Davis explained.

He believes this younger generation has the right intent, although their methods can taint the mission.

"You need a multi-pronged attack; from the front, from the side, from the back, through the rear door, whatever," Davis said. "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."







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

Alveda King: "How to be Thankful in the Midst of the Storm"

California Teachers Recruit Kids into LGBT Clubs

Kicker Makes History as First Player with Down Syndrome to Score in College Football Game

Leaked House and Human Services Memo Reveals Biden Seeks to Strip Americans of Religious Protections

Bill Maher Defends Parents Amid Critical Race Theory Furor, Addresses Critics: 'My Politics Have Not Changed'

The US is Listed as a "Backsliding Democracy" for First Time by International Watchdog

America in Mourning: Prayer Vigil Held for Waukesha Parade Victims

PRAY as Supreme Court Set to Hear Abortion Arguments December 1: Experts Believe Roe v. Wade Could be Overturned

Shocking FBI Raid on Gold Star Mom and Other Colorado Women Simply Advocating School Board Changes and Election Integrity

New Harvard Study Finds Homeschoolers Generally Become Well Adjusted, Responsible Adults

Biden Bill Forces Faith-Based Childcare to Affirm LGBT Ideology or Lose Federal Funding

Pray! At Least 5 Dead and Over 40 Injured – Half of Them Children – in Horrific Car Massacre at Christmas Parade in Wisconsin

While 500,000 Anti-Mandate Marchers Pack the Streets of Melbourne, Australia, Huge Freedom Protests Erupt Throughout Europe

A Coalition of Conscience

Doctor Said This "Prayer Warrior" Grandma in COVID Coma Had NO Hope of Survival, But After Her Kids Bought Her Tombstone...

Senator Introduces Education Bill to Give Power Back to Parents, Not "Woke Bureaucrats"

New Book on President Trump Skyrockets to $1 Million in Sales in First 24 Hours; New York Times Refuses to Include it on Best Sellers' List

Alveda King Calls for Nonviolent Unity after Rittenhouse Not Guilty Verdict: 'As One Blood, One Human Race, We CAN Resolve Our Differences Peacefully'

House Passes Massive Social Spending Plan: 'More Money Than We Spent to Solve WWII'

Austria Is First Western Country to Make COVID Vaccines Mandatory for All Citizens



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com