Black Klansman Summary & Study Guide

Ron Stallworth
This Study Guide consists of approximately 57 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Black Klansman.
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Black Klansman Summary & Study Guide Description

Black Klansman Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Black Klansman by Ron Stallworth.

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Stallworth, Ron. Black Klansman: A Memoir. Flatiron Books, 2018. Trade Paperback edition.

Ron Stallworth’s investigation into the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado began with a response to a classified advertisement published in a local Colorado Springs newspaper. Stallworth, a black police detective, responded to the advertisement asking for information, and received a call from a local KKK organizer about becoming a Klansman.

When Stallworth was in high school he wanted to become a P.E. teacher, but became a cadet with the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) in order to help pay for college. After serving as a cadet, Stallworth became a police officer.

After a few short years as a uniformed police officer, Stallworth was called upon to be an undercover officer to attend a speech being given by Black Panther Party leader Stokely Carmichael. Shortly thereafter, Stallworth became an undercover detective in the Intelligence Unit.

As Stallworth was setting up his investigation into the KKK, he decided that the investigation could be best executed by himself and a white officer. Stallworth will converse with the KKK over the phone and the white officer can meet with the KKK face-to-face. Stallworth recruits a narcotics detective, Chuck, to be his white counterpart.

Chuck, posed as Ron, meets with the local KKK chapter and begins the process to become a member. While the membership process is underway, Ron ends up calling and befriending David Duke, the national president and Grand Wizard of the KKK. Ron learns about Duke’s planned visit to Colorado and builds a rapport with him to learn as much as possible about Duke, the visit, and the workings of the KKK.

The local chapter of the KKK is working to expand its membership, so Chuck (and Ron) ‘recruit’ another detective—Jimmy—to join the KKK so that they can have two undercover agents inside the KKK. Chuck and Jimmy are both initiated into the KKK by Duke when Duke comes to visit Colorado Springs. During Duke’s visit, Stallworth is assigned to be Duke’s personal security while Duke is in Colorado Springs. Stallworth tricks Duke and a State KKK organizer into getting a picture with him, in which Stallworth puts his arms around the two Klansmen.

Stallworth uses his inside knowledge of he KKK’s plans to prevent multiple cross burnings in Colorado Springs. Shortly thereafter, the chief of police shuts down the CSPD’s investigation into the KKK. That very night a burning cross was found in front of a black night club in Colorado Springs that was holding a fundraiser.

After the investigation ends, Stallworth has the opportunity to serve as the personal security for Dr. Ralph David Abernathy, a Civil Rights leader. Ron cannot help but compare the two experiences, serving as the personal bodyguard for a Civil Rights legend and a white supremacist.

While short, Stallworth’s investigation provided meaningful information to law enforcement agencies and civil rights groups across the country, and prevented acts of terrorism.

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This section contains 510 words
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