Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America

Directed by Matthew Ornstein

Starring Daryl Davis

Daryl Davis has an unusual hobby. As a musician he has played with legends like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, but in his spare time he likes to meet and befriend members of the Ku Klux Klan. Join Daryl on his personal quest to understand racism.

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Reviews

  • ★★★★ review by Jessica Flowers on Letterboxd

    My mother and Noah Marger were right.  This documentary was very powerful.  I missed the last bit of it because the Baltimore scene has started a family discussion that's still on-going.

  • ★★★★ review by Mike de Raaf on Letterboxd

    Intense. Daryl Davis has incredible patience and unparalleled empathy. The world could use more like him. The confrontation between him and young black lives matter activists is captivating. I think Daryl is treated unfairly by these brash young people who seemingly don't understand the politics they are trying to engage through activism. One of them goes so far as to ignorantly suggest he would rather have Trump as president than Hillary. Insanity. I can understand the desire to want to know the face of your enemy and rally against them but in the long run we are all going to have to learn to work together. Drawing further lines to divide people works against that. That isn't to belittle their efforts as both trains of thought are important. Without protests and activism, important causes go unheard. I just can't believe how incompatible their opinions are when at the heart of it they are fighting for the same thing in different ways. I also can't believe how under promoted this documentary is. I only learned about it from listening to Harmontown.

  • ★★★★ review by Noah Marger on Letterboxd

    "How can you hate me if you don't even know me?"

    this is a crazy doc and you just gotta watch it

  • ★★★½ review by KaylaHindle on Letterboxd

    Davis is a man with a simple objective: get an answer to his lifelong question of "How can you hate me when you do not know me?" But this documentary reveals his journey and the exploration of racism in America is anything but simple. There are things that don't compute. A black man pursues and maintains years-long friendships with Klan members and collects KKK memorabilia he intends to display in a museum. That black man on a quest to combat racists ends up combatting Black Lives Matter activists frustrated with his preference for engaging with those in a community they believe cannot change rather than uplifting those in his own community. 

    From Davis's efforts, we do not gain a definitive solution to the toxic problems of systemic racism in this country, but only the understanding that inaction is not an option. Hearts and minds and movements - this film captures intently that fighting against hatred takes courage and perseverance, no matter your tactics.

  • ★★★★ review by DarthTarantino on Letterboxd

    If I were Daryl Davis my eyes would have fallen out due to excessive eye-rolling when talking to these people. But maybe that's the problem.

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