Cover Image: The Klansman’s Son

The Klansman’s Son

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Member Reviews

This is the memoir of Derek Black, who is the child of the creator of Stormfront and the godchild of David Duke himself. It describes their life within the White Nationalist movement and their journey examining their views before eventually turning away from their family's beliefs.

I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE that while the title is The Klansman's SON, Derek goes by they/them! Thank you!

I read this book wanting a deep exploration into how one can go from one extreme to the other, and this book does have that. Black is extremely smart and is a great writer, and they do a fantastic job of explaining themself. Black's story is a particular one within the world of White Nationalism, because Black never found this area themself but was born and raised into it. Black never experienced the deep anger that so many white men feel that lead them to this movement, and the way Black writes their early life makes it feel like they never truly felt anger or hatred toward those different from themselves.

I believe, after reading this book, that Black is the exception in that they are not only extremely well educated but just overall passionately interested in learning. They begin their journey toward antiracism because a classmate begins challenging their beliefs by sending them research articles - something the average white nationalist would not be interested in reading. That all being said, I think Black's journey is incredibly interesting, particularly when they began examining how the arguments they were raised on begin making their way into everyday political conversations.

I hooked quickly into this book, and if the concept interests you, I would highly recommend it.

Thank you to Abrams Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I really value a book that provokes complex and nuanced thoughts which is why I highly recommend The Klansman's Son by Derek Black. Mr. Black was born into a family of white supremacists and was the godson of the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke. As a child Mr. Black started Stormfront, a neo-Nazi internet forum which was one of the first websites that promoted racial hate.

In 2010, Mr. Black enrolled at the New College of Florida, one of the most liberal and progressive colleges in the US. He enrolled at New College to study medieval European history. Upon arriving at New College, Mr. Black befriended many students from diverse backgrounds including several Jewish students and students of color. Towards the end of his first year, his identity as a white supremacist was exposed and Mr. Black began a years-long process of grappling with the contradictions between his family, his new friends, and his own views. Over several years Mr. Black progresses from being a white supremacist to an anti-racist. He explains this revolution in his thinking in The Klansman's Son.

The publication of this book in mid-2024 comes at a very relevant moment with the current debates on free speech on college campuses, book bans and the 2024 US presidential election. College is a time that young adults challenge their views, and I really appreciated the honesty and vulnerability that Mr. Black shares about his personal experience.

Thank you to NetGalley and Abrams Press for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This was really interesting and provided a much needed perspective on the KKK. Pretty horrifying in many ways and not an easy read.

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