EPCC held their Literary Fiesta at the El Paso Public Library on Oct. 19, and invited Ron Stallworth, the author of the “Black Klansman,” as their special guest.
The event was kicked off with an award ceremony in the main auditorium outside the library.
Photo Courtesy Ron-Stallworth.com
Ron Stallworth, the author of the "Black Klansman" was the special guest for the Literacy Fiesta.
Stallworth received EPCC’s “Literary Legacy Award” for his New York Times bestselling novel, “Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime.”
The book was later adapted into a movie.
The film was written and directed by Spike Lee and produced by Jordan Peele (director of “Us” 2019 and “Get Out” 2017.)
EPCC also awarded Literarity Book Shop, a local independently owned bookstore located on 5411 N. Mesa St. with the “Community Spirit Award,” for their support of local writers and poets.
Stallworth grew up in El Paso after his family moved here to flee the poverty and violence plaguing Chicago’s South side.
He spent most of his adult life in Colorado, after moving there in 1972.
He is known by most for his memoir Black Klansman, which tells the story of his time in Colorado Springs during 1978.
Not only had he been the first black detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, but he had also gone undercover as a member of the KKK as part of an investigation.
After the awards, a showing of the movie, BlacKkKlansman, played in the main auditorium for those who wanted to watch in preparation for the Q&A that would follow.
The 2018 movie adaptation was a success, being nominated for multiple awards and taking home the Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay.
Since then, he and his wife, Patsy Terrazas-Stallworth have traveled across the country for many book signings.
During the Q&A, members of the audience were given the opportunity to ask questions they had for Stallworth. What seemed to stand out the most, was his writing process.
He claimed to not have much of a process when writing the book.
He found most of his inspiration from another book he wrote, containing police reports from encounters he made with David Duke, the former grand wizard of the KKK.
He also credited his wife for most of his writing, stating she had impacted his book by providing feedback before anyone else. She helped him while he was writing his manuscript during long phone calls.
This is also the reason why his wife signs her dedication page in the book whenever they, go to a book signing.
During the book signing, Stallworth and his wife were friendly and willing to answer any questions and take pictures.
The event also included children’s activities set up in the 2nd floor Mezzanine, where EPCC faculty provided the kids with treat bags, arts and crafts, free books and a haunted house.
There were also book vendors in the lobby who were selling and giving away books.
Barnes and Nobles also sold copies of Stallworth’s book. Overall the event was entertaining and a fun way to spend a Saturday.