Daryl Davis claims to have inspired people to quit the Ku Klux Klan. Daryl Davis met his first member of the Ku Klux Klan at an all-white venue beneath a truckstop motel in a crossroads town of Maryland — a former slaveholding state and Civil War battleground that had practiced segregation into the s. It was and the KKK was clawing back power — recruiting members, setting up paramilitary training camps and holding rallies. Two years earlier in Alabama, the KKK had beaten and killed a year-old black man, and hung his body from a tree.
The Atlantic Crossword
So a black guy walks into a bar - sounds like the beginning of a bad joke; I see people shifting around a little bit, but it gets better - and the first thing he sees is everybody else in there is white. So he sits down at the piano on the stage with the band, to play, and on the band break, a white gentleman comes up to him and says, "You know, this is the first time I ever heard a black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. But he wanted to buy this black guy a drink.
Known for his energetic style of boogie-woogie piano,  Davis has played with such musicians as Chuck Berry ,   Jerry Lee Lewis , B. King ,  and Bruce Hornsby. Born in Chicago , Illinois, Davis was the son of a Department of State Foreign Service officer , and moved around the world with his parents during most of his early childhood. Living in various foreign countries, including African nations, Davis grew accustomed to the casually integrated schools of foreign diplomats, where children of many nations, races and cultures were schooled together. In one incident, he was carrying the flag and marching with his troop in a local parade, when he was struck with rocks and bottles thrown from the crowd; leading the pack leaders to form a protective ring around him. Davis at the time did not understand the incident until he discussed it with his father. The irrationality of the incident, in his mind, led to a curiosity about the origins and basis for such racist attitudes, which would later shape much of his future activity. Davis is a Christian.
When musician Daryl Davis first met a member of the Ku Klux Klan he was the only black man in a country band. They were playing a gig at an all-white venue in Frederick, Maryland. After their set, a member of the audience approached Davis to compliment his piano skills, saying he'd never heard a black pianist play like Jerry Lee Lewis. They hit it off. The patron wanted to buy Davis a drink, and soon after he observed that he'd never in his life had a drink or conversed with a black man. At first Davis thought he was joking. But the man pulled out his wallet and produced his Klan card. Later he wrote down his phone number. He asked Davis to call him the next time he played the Silver Dollar Lounge. He'd come out to watch.