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Home | Tag Archives: Ron Stallworth

Tag Archives: Ron Stallworth

El Pasoan, author Ron Stallworth named Grand Marshal of Annual Sun Bowl Parade

On Thursday, officials with the Sun Bowl Association and Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso announced that Ron Stallworth will be leading the 83rd Annual Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl Parade, which is themed ‘Bobbleheads on Parade.’ 

The parade is set for the traditional date of Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 with start time set for 10 a.m. (MT) in El Paso, Texas on Montana Avenue, from Ochoa Street to Copia Street.

Stallworth, who is widely known for his book that was published in 2014, Black Klansman, which speaks about his experience during the investigation of the KKK.  He was born June 18, 1953 in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in El Paso, after his mother moved the family to the Borderland.

According to Stallworth, “my mother’s moving our family to El Paso was the best decision she ever made, as the city was a far cry from the poverty, gangs, and conflict in Chicago’s South Side, where I would have come of age if she had not left.”

Stallworth graduated from Austin High School in 1971, where he was a cheerleader, a member of student council, and a member of a district-wide advisory board; he was also voted “most popular.”

“We have so many amazing people in El Paso with amazing stories and history, which always makes it a challenge to choose a grand marshal for this historical parade,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “But with the recent accomplishments by Mr. Ron Stallworth, the decision was a bit easier.”

The El Pasoan’s infiltration of the KKK provided the basis for Spike Lee’s movie, ‘BlacKkKlansman,’ which was released in October of 2018 and received acclaim from critics, who praised the performances (particularly of Washington and Driver) and timely themes, as well as noting it as a return to form for Lee.

It received six nominations at the 91st Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Lee’s first directing nomination), and Best Supporting Actor for Driver, and won for Best Adapted Screenplay, making it Lee’s first non-honorary Academy Award.

The American Film Institute also selected it as one of the top 10 films of the 2018, and at the 76th Golden Globe Awards it earned four nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Drama.

Stallworth was sworn in as a Colorado Springs police officer on his 21st birthday in 1974, making him the first African-American to graduate from the ranks of the Police Cadet Program. Stallworth was intrigued by the undercover narcotics investigators, and spent his first years peppering them with questions and pitching himself as a worthy undercover cop.

In 1979, Stallworth noticed a classified ad in the local paper seeking members to start a new chapter of the KKK in Colorado Springs. He saw that as a threat to the community, so he responded to the ad via mail to a P.O. Box and provided them an address and phone number.  That was followed up with a member of the KKK contacting Stallworth, who posed as a racist white man.

Stallworth then arranged to meet the man at a local bar and sent a white undercover narcotics officer, wired to record any conversations, to stand in for him at the meetings.  The subterfuge was a success and Stallworth continued to pose a KKK member for the next nine months.

After the investigation of the Klan closed, Stallworth kept it a secret and told no one about his role in it, given the KKK membership certificate displayed in his office, was a remarkable achievement in itself.  He transferred to the Utah Department of Public Safety, where he retired in 2005 after working as an investigator for 20 years.

In January 2006, Stallworth gave an interview to the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, in which he related the details of his infiltration and investigation of the KKK. He disclosed that the investigation revealed several Klan members were active members of the US Armed Forces.

In 2014, Stallworth published a book, Black Klansman, about his experience investigation the KKK and used a casebook that he assembled during the assignment to assist in the writing of the book. The book was taken to QC Entertainment and a movie was released in 2018.

After retirement Stallworth earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Columbia Colleges’ Salt Lake City Campus in 2007

The 83rd Annual Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl Parade is scheduled for Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019 with a start-time of 10 a.m. (MT). The parade runs down Montana Ave from Ochoa Street and ends at Copia Street.

The El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the Parade in 1935. The parade was held on New Year’s Day from 1936 until 1978, when the event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day.

The holiday pageant is planned, coordinated and produced by volunteer efforts and draws tens of thousands of spectators. The Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the west Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area, it brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.

For more information on the parade go to the Sun Bowl Association website.

Ron Stallworth to appear at BlacKkKlansman benefit screening Thursday

Best-selling author Ron Stallworth will appear at a benefit screening of the Oscar-winning 2018 film BlacKkKlansmen, hosted by the El Paso Community Foundation.

Hosted by the El Paso Community Foundation Plaza Classic Film Festival, the screening is a benefit for the Migrant Families Relief Fund in the El Paso Community Foundation.

Stallworth is the El Paso-based author of the best-selling memoir Black Klansmen, which details how the Austin High School graduate and Colorado Springs police detective infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. It was published independently in 2014 and reissued in 2018 by McMillan’s Flatiron Books, becoming a New York Times best-seller.

Pre-signed copies will be available for sale at the event.  Ron will do a Q&A after the screening.

Director Spike Lee’s film version, BlacKkKlansmen (Rated R), has grossed more than $90 million since its Focus Features release on August 10, 2018. It received a standing ovation and the Grand Prix award at France’s Cannes Film Festival last May.

The Migrant Families Relief Fund was created in 2018 to assist four El Paso nonprofits that provide shelter, legal services, advocacy and other support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the U.S. — Annunciation House; the Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee; Diocesan Migrant & Refugee Services; and Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center.

To donate, visit the Migrant Families Relief Fund web page.

The screening will take place  at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21 in the Foundation Room, 333 North Oregon. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $50, available at the El Paso Community Foundation web page and at the door if available.

Authors Stallworth, Saenz, Connors Added to Next Week’s SOMOS Fund Event

El Pasoan and Black Klansman author Ron Stallworth of El Paso has been added to the SOMOS Fund benefit set for next week in Downtown El Paso.

Austin High School graduate Stallworth led an undercover investigation of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs in the 1970s. His book about the experience was turned into a major motion picture by Spike Lee, which came out in August.

Stallworth author read excerpts from the book at this year’s Plaza Classic Film Festival, and is one of three authors who have been added to Tuesday’s literary event.

Award-winning author Benjamin Alire Saenz (Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club) and Philip Connors (A Song for the River) also will appear.

They join noted border experts and authors Andrew Selee (Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together), Alfredo Corchado (Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, And the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration) and Francisco Cantú (The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches From the Border).

The authors will discuss their books, and take part in a Q&A session moderated by journalist Angela Korcherga.  A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow the Q&A.

Selee is the founder of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute and current president of the Migration Policy Institute of Washington, D.C. Corchado is an El Paso-based border correspondent for the Dallas Morning News. Cantú is an award-winning author and former Border Patrol agent from Tucson.

Corchado created the SOMOS Fund in the El Paso Community Foundation to help Jaguares Jovenes de Bien, A.C., which provides support, mentoring and college scholarships from young victims of violence in Ciudad Juarez.

Admission is a $100 donation, which includes available copies of the authors’ books (courtesy of Literarity Book Shop); or a $25 minimum donation at the door (books not included).

Signed copies of their books also will be for sale. Donations may be made at the door or online.

The SOMOS Fund benefit will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 27 in the El Paso Community Foundation’s Foundation Room, 333 North Oregon, across from San Jacinto Plaza.

Alamo Drafthouse to Host Ron Stallworth during Blackkklansman Q&A

Fans will be able to meet the real Ron Stallworth, the detective whose unbelievable true story inspired the new Spike Lee film Blackkklansman, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, 2018.

“Ron Stallworth’s autobiography is the kind of story that’s so crazy, it must be true,” said Analiza Guzman, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo’s Creative Manager. “To see it come to life under the direction of Spike Lee makes it all the more remarkable. Having this great El Pasoan come down to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo to talk about his life and this movie with theatergoers is an honor.”

Ron Stallworth, who resides in El Paso and graduated from Austin High School before going on to a career in law enforcement, will sign copies of his memoir following the screening. The book will be available for purchase in the lobby before the screenings on Saturday at 7 and 7:45pm.

Set in the 1970s, Blackkklansman is the story of Stallworth’s experience infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan as the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Legendary filmmaker Spike Lee (DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X) brings Stallworth’s story to life with all his trademark style, wit and fire, alongside the production team behind 2017’s smash-hit GET OUT.

The film won the prestigious Grand Prix during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and is an early Oscar favorite.

Click here to purchase tickets to one of two special screenings with live Q&A which will begin at 7pm and 7:45pm at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo.

Tickets for other showings are on sale right now at the Drafthouse webpage.



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