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The real black klansman visits Lawrence, talks story behind hit film

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ron StallworthRon Stallworth set the record straight at Regal Southwind Stadium 12 Movie Theater on Thursday.

Stallworth, the real-life inspiration behind “BlacKkKlansman,” said the movie gets almost everything right: he was fluent in jive as well as “King’s English,” he used to have frequent phone conversations with former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, and he did spend the better part of a year in the late 1970s as an undercover cop in a white supremacist group.

“BlacKkKlansman” is based on Stallworth’s autobiography, “Black Klansman,” published in 2014. The book went on to become a New York Times bestseller, and the story caught the attention of director Spike Lee. Stallworth said the amount of attention he’s received from the book and the film is unexpected.

“I don't feel like a celebrity,” Stallworth said. “It is a little bit overwhelming at times, but I will admit it's a lot of fun. I especially like going to these fancy hotels and they say, 'Can I get you a taxi?' and I say, 'No, my limo's waiting right there.'”

A University of Kansas film studies alumnus is typically invited back to campus for the Film Rally, but this year the department decided to focus on the success of Willmott’s film.

“We see it as an opportunity to help our students see beyond graduation,” said Department Chair Michael Baskett.

The Film Rally has previously been held on campus, but an exception was... Read more

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FMS Film Rally 2020 Alumni Video

Encouraging thoughts from our FMS alums!