Ron Stallworth
The "Black Klansman" and Undercover Cop Who Exposed the KKK


Ron Stallworth is a law enforcement veteran and the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. He has worked undercover narcotics, vice, criminal intelligence, and organized crime beats in four states.

 

In 1978, Ron worked undercover and infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan chapter in Colorado Springs. He shares this incredible true story in his book, Black Klansman: A Memoir. By recruiting his partner Chuck to play the “white” Ron Stallworth, he helped sabotage cross burnings, expose white supremacists in the military, and combat domestic terrorism. Even more incredibly, Stallworth also befriended (and fooled) Grand Wizard David Duke. Later on, Stallworth led an undercover investigation into the anti-Klan protesters of the Progressive Labor Party.

 

The book is also the basis for the major motion picture BlacKkKlansman, written and directed by Spike Lee. Produced by Jordan Peele, and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver, it was released in August 2018.

 

Raised in El Paso, Texas, Stallworth received his B.A. in Crimnal Justice Administration from Columbia College in 2007. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1998 Outstanding National Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Gang Crime Research Center. His media appearances include interviews with MSNBC, CNN, NPR, BBC, Vice magazine, Daily Mail and more. In addition to The Black Klansman, Ron Stallworth is also the author of Bringing the Noise: Gangster-Reality Rap in the Dynamics of Black Social Revolution and Gangsta Code: The Sociological Implications of Gangster Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture.

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Hardcover
Flatiron Books

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. Ron launches what is surely one of the most audacious and incredible undercover investigations in history. He 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.

Black Klansman: How Ron Stallworth Infiltrated the KKK In 1978, when detective Ron Stallworth discovered a classified ad in the local paper recruiting for the Ku Klux Klan, he responded, using his real name while posing as a white man. He asked his partner Chuck to play the "white" Ron Stallworth for in-person meetings, while Stallworth himself conducted all phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotaged cross burnings, exposed white supremacists in the military, and even befriended and served on the security detail for David Duke. In this talk, Stallworth tells the story of his KKK infiltration, touching on his motivations, doubts, fears, and triumphs throughout the process.
Race and Law Enforcement Ron Stallworth was the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department. He overcame many obstacles, including prejudice from members of his own force and the difficulty of impersonating a KKK member. Stallworth offers insights on the intersections of race and law enforcement: how they have changed in some ways and stayed the same in others. Stallworth draws on both his own experiences and historical and current events.







Slate and Vanity Fair analyze how the movie stacks up to the book.

The Washington Post interviews Ron Stallworth.

TIME features Ron Stallworth.

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Black Klansman.

Read Bustle‘s feature on Ron.

The Denver Post recounts Ron Stallworth’s story.

El Paso Inc. profiles Ron Stallworth.

Read the Black Klansman review from The Philadelphia Tribune.

The New York Post profiles Ron Stallworth.

Read The Guardian‘s extended profile of Ron Stallworth.

The Daily Beast interviews Ron Stallworth on his story and the upcoming BlacKkKlansman movie.

POPSUGAR covers The Black Klansman story, from undercover operation to big-screen movie.

Read The Gazette’s feature on Ron Stallworth.

Listen to the BBC interview with Ron Stallworth.

Listen to the NPR interview with Ron Stallworth.

Ron is featured in The New York Times Book Review’s “Inside the List” feature.