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Oct 30, 2020

Series: FREE SPEECH BATTLES. Interviewer: MATTHEW BERKMAN. Growing up within the white nationalist movement as the son of one its leaders, Don Black, and the godson of its most famous political figure, David Duke, DEREK BLACK was a true believer – until he wasn’t. He very publicly renounced his beliefs in an open letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center. In his discussion with political scientist Matthew Berkman, Black draws from his own experience renouncing a hateful ideology to suggest the types of strategies that might change the minds of others in the movement. He does not offer quick or easy answers, however, emphasizing the emotional difficulty of leaving behind a close-knit community of adherents. Black’s life story has also been featured in the New York Times, NPR, in an interview at the Holocaust Memorial Center, and in his appearance in the Mitchell Center’s Free Speech Battles series.