The brilliance of the BlacKkKlansman


Photo Courtesy of David Lee / Focus Features

Promotional poster for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, a Focus Features release.

Celine Holguin, Opinion Editor

The movie BlacKkKlansman is based on the true story of the first African-American detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado and the first black klansman of the American nation.


Set in the 1970s, daring “young, hip, soul brother” Ron Stallworth (portrayed by John David Washington) joins the Colorado Springs Police Department where he quickly makes his way up to the intelligence division and is the first rookie to ever lead an investigation his first case focusing on the notorious Ku Klux Klan (KKK).


When sitting at his desk, Stallworth sees an ad about the KKK in the newspaper and almost impulsively dials the number and leaves a message, which was promptly followed by a call back. Stallworth proceeds to crudely rant about how much he hates people that aren’t of the “pure, white, Aryan” race and is then invited to meet with the Klan chapter (group). But as soon at the call ends, Stallworth comes to the realization that he used his real name and is humorously reminded that he is a black man therefore interfering with his investigation.


Unfazed by this minor setback, Stallworth partners with fellow detective Flip Zimmerman (portrayed by Adam Driver) and teaches him how to be Ron Stallworth, the KKK membership-seeking, America lovin’, white man. The real Ron Stallworth would be himself on the phone (using a convincing “white voice”) meanwhile Zimmerman would be the Stallworth that would meet up with the KKK. Although it seemed like a plan that promised doom, it was surprisingly successful.


As the case unfolds itself and both detectives infiltrated the KKK, an imminent threat on the black community is revealed. Not only that, but the Grand Wizard David Duke (portrayed by Topher Grace) visits and causes a stir amongst the KKK chapter of Colorado Springs, who wants to welcome their leader with a big bang and some missing C4. It is up to Stallworth and Zimmerman to prevent a grave tragedy from happening while dealing with betrayal and the malice of the KKK.


Not only does this movie bring a long-time brewing race war to light, it also raises important issues about identity, human nature and the brutality that existed back then and still exist now. Filled with danger, suspense, light comedy and a bone chilling ending, BlacKkKlansman brings something incredibly insightful and powerful to the screen.


As Stallworth would say himself, “I can dig it.” 5/5 and highly recommend watching.