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Ron Stallworth    

Retired Police Officer who Infiltrated the Ranks of the KKK in Colorado Springs & Inspiration for "BlacKkKlansman"

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.

Speech Topics

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 inperson 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.

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