By Samantha Sprouse
Editor’s note: This a research paper. We get it, it’s a little research-y. But we still thought it was pretty neat, and wanted to share it with you.
BlacKkKlansman is a 2018 American film directed by Spike Lee. The film confronts racism head on by portraying the real-life story of Ron Stallworth, Colorado Springs’ first Black police officer. In the late 1970’s, Stallworth worked undercover to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan and prosecute its members. The film’s message is clear: Racism is systemic, pervasive, and enduring. Many aspects of systems of inequality are evident in the film.
The film begins with Stallworth getting hired at the Colorado Springs police department and being harassed by white police officers. Stallworth is asked to work undercover at an upcoming rally where Black Panthers activist Kwame Ture is giving a speech, because white police are fearful of a subsequent “race war.” There, he meets Patrice, a young student activist who encourages him to fight for Black liberation.
After being moved by the speech, Stallworth sees an ad in the local paper for the KKK. He calls the number, pretending to be white, and requests to join. Because Stallworth is Black, the police reluctantly agree to send Jewish, but white, “Flip Zimmerman” to pose as Stallworth. The movie follows these undercover meetings as Stallworth talks to the KKK on the phone and Zimmerman meets them in person, exposing their violent and hateful plans.Continue reading