Thursday, July 23, 2020

Review: BLACK KLANSMAN by Ron Stallworth

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I’ve always been curious about this book whenever I’ve seen it, but I never knew what it was about. I finally read the description to find that it was about how a black police officer infiltrated the KKK, a white supremacist hate group. Even though I don’t read much nonfiction, that premise sounded super interesting to me, so I decided to give it a go!

The story starts right away with Stallworth finding a KKK ad in the classifieds, responding to it, and getting a call from the leader.

After that, we got a lot of backstory of Stallworth’s rise in the ranks of the police bureau, and unfortunately, that was not very interesting to me. I came for the story about the KKK but I didn’t realize this was also partially Stallworth’s memoir on top of that. That disappointment is my own fault because his whole story was still interesting, just not quite what I was expecting to read about.

Ultimately, this book was about Stallworth’s investigation into the KKK in the 1970s and how it all panned out. He had to have his white friend Chuck, from the narcotics division, pretend to be him during the Klan’s in-person meetings, but Ron himself still did all the work behind the scenes and took all the phone calls. 

Black Klansman definitely has an interesting premise and it was an educational read, but it was also a book I was never really looking forward to picking back up whenever I put it down, which is why it gets a lower rating from me. I wanted to like it more than I did, but unfortunately, I found that it struggled to keep my attention at times and was slower-paced than I wanted it to be. I’m looking forward to watching the movie now though, and hopefully, I will have a better time connecting with Stallworth’s story in that format. 

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