Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan” as Want to Read:
Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  25 reviews
While marching in a cub-scout parade, young Daryl Davis was pelted by rocks and bottles. As a teenager he was told he would be shipped back to Africa. Driven by an intense need to understand those who hate him because of the colour of his skin, Davis decided to seek out the roots of racism.

The author, who is a professional musician, recounts his courageous, lifelong confr
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published November 15th 1997 by New Horizon Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  25 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Klan-destine Relationships: A Black Man's Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
It has been a while since I got captured by a book that I could not put down until it was finished. Daryl Davis is a musician who experienced racism all his life. And so he decided to start meeting leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. He would call (or have his secretary call - he was a successful musician) Klan people to set up meetings, and just forget to mention he was black, and they would be surprised! Woo!

The thing is... they would still talk to him. And they weren't all what he expected. And he s
Jan 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Onionboy by: web article
This book was promoted as the story of a black man who personally got 200 people to leave the KKK by individually befriending them. That’s not what I found when I read it. He befriended many people in the KKK and had many honest discussions with them, but I only noticed one person who changed at all and left the KKK because of Daryl. And that was because he saw how Daryl was treated during a court case.
Many people commented about the author’s apparent lack of writing skills. I did not notice thi
Samarth Gupta
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Racism is similar to cancer; unless treated, it will spread and eventually consume the whole body. If the afflicted body procreates after being attacked with such a deadly malady, whether it be cancer or racism, there is a good chance that any offspring will be exposed to it as well. And the terrible process will begin all over again in a new generation."

"The FBI in the 1960's devised a top secret counter-intelligence program which they named 'COINTELPRO.' Information was gathered by informers
This book and its author are extraordinary. What courage! Daryl is an inspiration for us to always strive to see the humanity in others and seek common ground, rather than dismissing folks with polar opposite views out of hand.

"Time and exposure is a great healer--perhaps the only healer for irrational fear and hatred. Laws can be made to take people out of the Klan, but laws cannot be made to take the Klan mentality out of people. The best way we can learn to respect each other is to know each
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I read this book. I wasn't sure what to expect. Would it be a diatribe against the Klan? A history? A voyeuristic look at the weirdness of white supremacists?

Davis's book was none of these things. It was instead a thoughtful balanced discussion of how Davis went about answering the question: How can someone hate me when he doesn't even know me?

I was very impressed not only with Davis's persistence in seeking out Klan members and getting to know them, but also with how insightful hi
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
After reading "Natchez Burning" I wanted to read a nonfiction book about racism in Maryland, where I live. A friend recommended "Klan-destine Relationships" by Daryl Davis. Daryl is a local black man, who wanted to better understand the causes of racism and hate. Daryl is a unique man, who had the courage to infiltrate the KKK, interview them, go to their homes, meet their families, and learn their history. Daryl was able to patiently listen to their hate, calmly ask them questions that made the ...more
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting and to be read by all to start understanding racisms. I was able to relate to Daryl Davis on a special level as we both grew up in different countries (not the one from our parents) and we learned earlier to accept all human without discrimination. Could you not stop reading it.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
It was a crazy story, but it could have been much more than that in the hands of a more capable writer. Also, the constant name dropping got pretty old pretty quickly
Byron Fike
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Daryl Davis is not a reporter or civil rights worker. He's not politician nor does he even appear to be that politically active. He doesn't particularly like to be called African-American although he did live in Africa for 10 years and has great appreciation for his African heritage. He's a professional musician who happens to be black. His music resume is impressive. He's played with Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Nelson and Chuck Berry (to name just a few).

The book records his journey o
Joel Alex
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing look into one man's mission to better understand racism through members of the KKK. Daryl Davis recounts his conversations with members and leaders of the KKK. Instead of seeing them as hate mongering racists, he sees them as people. This builds a foundation of decency and humanity which, at times, turns into deep friendship. I found myself amazed at the ability of Davis to carry on meaningful discussions with people from a completely different and antagonist worldview. These discussi ...more
Lori Rising
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really excellent book that I highly recommend. It's Davis' true story about being a black man who wants to understand how others can hate him simply because of his skin color. He begins reaching out to KKK members and having face-to-face conversations with them. What he learns and how he goes about it is a journey the ready is changed by. I wrote a full book review on my blog at and posted in on March 16, 2018.

I did have to get this book as an inter-library
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
A black American man's quest to understand racism in our country by interviewing the KKK.
"It is fear that is instilled in us through ignorance that often breeds hate. Hatred, if not kept in check, will sometimes escalate to destruction. Racism is similar to cancer, unless treated, it will spread and eventually consume the whole body.
In trying to understand how other people think, he also wants to get people to know him, as a person and his main focus is on the next generation. How do we stop t
Mist Willingham
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Daryl Davis is not a wonderful writer, but he IS a wonderful human being who embarked on a momentous journey to delve into the reasons for racial hatred. This journey is both moving and eye-opening, and I enjoyed traveling every step with him. This is a wonderful book for anyone who either hates or is hated for the colour of their skin, their religion or their sexual orientation.
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Page 213: "It was sad to see that if someone belongs to a minority group or holds beliefs that are not in alignment with the general sentiment of the majority, they will not find justice; at the same time those who uphold the sentiment of the majority can count on the support of the legal system to allow them to commit 'permissible' unlawful acts." ...more
Kat Robey
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Daryl Davis engaged in his beliefs by listening and learning about fellow human beings one-on-one in non-confrontational encounters. Hatred, name-calling, and avoidance do not serve those who hope to end prejudice. Engagement with the "other" whose ideas are diametrically opposed to ours and seeking common ground is the only way to shift the discussion toward unity. ...more
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"How can you hate me when you don't even know me?"
Davis shows that the key to solving a lot of issues (not just racial ones) is mutual respect and dialogue.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a real eye opener. It gave me a lot to think about.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I heard Mr. Davis speak on an NPR program called: 'Snap Judgement'
I liked the interview, so I requested this book from the library.

I commend Mr. Davis's courage. One thing you learn right away is that there is no one Ku Klux Klan - there are many splinter groups, some of which are rivals. Some more violent than others. (And yes, he gets to know some hate-crime murderers) There are the white supremacists and the white separatists, and they consider themselves very different.

This book is meant to
Yog Sothoth
May 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
One black man's quixotic quest to join the KKK. Daryl Davis was raised abroad, and was surprised by the depth of prejudice in America. He became curious about those who were the most racist, met them, and became their unlikely friends. He collected the Klan robes of those who left the organization after getting to know him. It's not well written, because he's not a writer at heart, but the book deserves a wider audience. ...more
Nov 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I read a piece of one of the chapters online somewhere and then added this to my 'to read' list. Definitely didn't disappoint.

This book may be a bit longer than necessary (lots of "and then I... followed by... before we finally...") but was a light, interesting read. As a white female, reading a black man's interactions with numerous Klan members of note was really eye-opening. How he maintained his cool in the face of White Supremacists (and Separatists) is beyond me.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This was an excellent and interesting narration of a detectives career and how he was able to infiltrate the KKK.
P. Es
Jun 03, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: politik, offwhite
one of the best covers of all time!!!
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
One of the most peculiar personal narratives on post-MLK black/white relations ... that I've read anyway. ...more
Jim McCormack
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good book, interesting quick read.

rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2017
William Krieger
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2020
rated it liked it
Jul 21, 2019
Maggie Ortiz
rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2008
rated it it was ok
Aug 14, 2010
rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2020
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel
  • Notes from Underground
  • Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man
  • Conscience and Its Enemies: Confronting the Dogmas of Liberal Secularism
  • Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents
  • The World in Flames: A Black Boyhood in a White Supremacist Doomsday Cult
  • Red Hook Road
  • The Consolations of Philosophy / Status Anxiety
  • The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands
  • Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
  • The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience
  • Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America
  • The Lottery
  • A Burning
  • Fred Schwed's Where are the Customers' Yachts? A modern-day interpretation of an investment classic (Infinite Success)
  • Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements
  • Negroes with Guns
See similar books…

News & Interviews

  Here at Goodreads, we've noticed that a funny thing tends to happen when we start talking about audiobooks: The same few titles get...
4 likes · 1 comments