Black Klansman centers around Ron Stallworth, the first black cop in 1970s Colorado Springs, undercover investigation into the Colorado Ku Klux Klan chapter. It was also recently made into a movie directed by Spike Lee.
This book was a wild ride. It’s a short book, about 175 pages, but its jam packed will information.
The book begins as Stallworth begins his career at the CSPD. He starts his career serving in the records department, but after being persistent with the head of the Investigative Department, he gets his first undercover gig by going undercover at a Black Panther rally. With minor success he’s transferred to the Investigative Department. One day while looking through the local classifieds for any criminal activity he notices an informational ad placed by the local Ku Klux Klan. So, he calls it, and requests information.
Reading Stallworth’s investigation play out had me laughing out loud with his description of these people. How he managed to successfully put not one but two officers (one pretending to be the “white version of him”) undercover without anyone noticing was pure gold. To be honest, I’m surprised no one caught one due to the sheer amount of people knew about the investigation at the end of the book. The book was informative and gave you a lot of historical information.
While I enjoyed this book, there were aspects I didn’t really like. For example, Stallworth went on a lot of tangents that involved interdepartmental issues not related to the story, would discuss random detectives, cops or other people not related to the story, and would discuss personal stories not pertained to the story. I sometimes had to re-read paragraphs and figure how out it connected to the story being told or the previous paragraph — many times it didn’t. Also, Stallworth repeated himself a lot. I found a few instances where he repeated an entire paragraph word for word at a different point in the book. Now, is that the author’s fault or poor editing? Either way, it wasn’t needed.
Finally, this book was good, but also nothing really happened….? Which is okay, but I guess I was expecting a bit more. There wasn’t a lot of dialogue and most of Stallworth’s interactions with the Ku Klux Klan and David Duke were summarized to what he said. Oh yeah, he would call Duke just to chat and they became friends of sorts. If anything read this book just for Stallworth’s interactions with Duke. They are priceless.
I gave this book three stars on Goodreads because I liked Black Klansman, but I wasn’t blown away by it.
Final note: I watched Black Klansman after I read the book and they are very different. I wasn’t a fan of the movie.
Until next time!