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Musician Recounts Combating Racism By Making Friends With KKK Members

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Davis formed relationships with hundreds of Klan members, with more than 200 members giving up their robes as a result of their friendship. (Alex Eady, WFIU/WTIU News)

Activist and blues musician Daryl Davis shared his personal story with combating racism as an African American man during a community conversation in Bloomington Monday night.

Aside from his music career, Davis has become well known for his collaboration with members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Davis says he’s come to understand that fear and lack of understanding is at the core of racism.

“Address the source, and the source is ignorance,” he says. “If you cure the ignorance there’s nothing to fear, if there’s nothing to fear, there’s nothing to hate.”

The program was sponsored by the Nonviolent Community Engagement Initiative through the Monroe County Public Library.

Following the talk, community members participated in a workshop to purposefully engage with others on difficult conversations.

Davis, a Chicago native, documented his experiences connecting with Klan members in a book published in 1998. Despite opposing views, Davis formed relationships with hundreds of Klan members, with more than 200 members giving up their robes as a result of their friendship.

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