Web site: http://www.daryldavis.com
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Musician and Chicago native Daryl Davis graduated from Howard University, with a degree in Jazz. In addition to being a pianist and vocalist, Daryl is an actor, lecturere, author of the nonfiction book Klan-Destine Relationships, and the subject of the new documentary film Accidental Courtesy. He currently resides in Maryland.
He leads The Daryl Davis Band, he has worked with Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Chuck Berry, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Sledge, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Coasters, The Platters, The Drifters, and many others. Daryl’s CDs American Roots and Alternate Routes, received rave reviews from leading Blues magazines, winning several awards for Best Artist in the Roots and Blues categories. Daryl tours both nationally and internationally and recently released his Greatest Hits CD.
He is not white. He’s not even light-skinned. Make no mistake about it; he is black. Yet, Daryl has come in closer contact with members of the Ku Klux Klan than most white non-members and certainly most blacks — short of being on the wrong end of a rope. What’s more? He continues to do so, making him one of the most unique lecturers on the speaking circuit today.
Over the last thirty years, Daryl Davis has walked on the edge with one foot dangling over the precipice. His stories of setting up surprise meetings with Klan leaders unaware of his skin color and attending KKK rallies, has the suspense of Hitchcock, keeping audiences riveted to their seats in disbelief. He is one man successfully taking on the oldest (150 years) and most racist and organization in the United States, by himself.
A man told Daryl, he’d never seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained, they both learned from black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists. The man didn’t believe in the black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Daryl’s. Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. He went on to renounce the KKK and become a good friend of Daryl's
On a quest to do nothing more than explore racism and gather information for his book, Daryl Davis eventually became the recipient of robes and hoods from Klan members who came to rescind their beliefs after coming to know him. Davis had inadvertently stumbled upon a successful method of forming friendships between sworn enemies. His methods have made him the center of controversy. Daryl Davis often makes supporters out of his detractors by proving his methods work.
Filled with exciting encounters and amusing anecdotes, Daryl Davis’ impassioned lectures leaves an audience feeling empowered to confront their own prejudices and overcome their fears. They leave the lecture seeking and hopefully finding a common ground, to help forge peace with their most unlikely adversaries
As a race relations expert, Daryl Davis has received acclaim for his book, documentary film, and work in race relations from many respected sources including: CNN, CNBC, Good Morning America, The Learning Channel, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Baltimore Sun, The American Ethical Union, The Washington Ethical Society, and National Geographic.
His awards include Washington Ethical Society Bridge Builder Award and the American Ethical Union Elliott-Black Award, Search For Common Ground Award, MLK Award, among many others.
As an actor, Daryl has appeared in film, stage plays and the critically acclaimed television show The Wire.
“While you are actively learning about others, you are passively teaching them about yourself. Always be honest.”
-- Daryl Davis
"When two enemies are talking, they are not fighting. They may be shouting and pounding their fists on the table, but at least they are talking. It’s when the talking ceases, that the ground becomes fertile for violence. Keep the conversation going.”
-- Daryl Davis
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