A semi-fictionalized account of Ron Stallworth, the first black officer hired in the Colorado Springs Police Department in 1978, is presented. His hiring in what was the still highly anti-black racist mentality of the force was to diversity it outwardly. Always wanting to be a policeman, Ron never embraced the black stereotype, he largely coming across as white except for his physical black characteristics. Not enjoying the menial tasks of the records room where he is initially assigned and where he is often bombarded with racial slurs by his fellow officers, he is able to convince his superiors that his unique attributes are better suited to undercover work. Those superiors want to assign him infiltrate a black activist student union group led by Patrice Dumas, they who are bringing in a black leader speaker, Kwame Ture, Ron's assignment to ensure that no radical activities take place especially during what is anticipated as the highly charged talk. In addition to this assignment, Ron, on a whim in answering a newspaper ad via a telephone call, is able to infiltrate the local chapter of the KKK, a subsequent call which makes its way to the national grand wizard himself, David Duke. His one big mistake in the telephone calls: using his real name. Ron thinks he has a way around this error by having one of his fellow undercover cops, Flip Zimmerman, to be "Ron Stallworth" in any meeting with the KKK, despite they sounding nothing alike. Much like Ron in not being typically "black", Flip, ethnically Jewish, was never devoted to his faith. This undercover work in its entirety places Ron's life in a precarious balance as he begins to embrace issues of his blackness, especially as it relates to Patrice. The further Ron and Flip infiltrate the KKK, the greater the likelihood of their cover being blown, risking their lives, many of the KKK members who are just itching at the chance to kill some n*****s and n-lovers, especially in some form of grand gesture.
Oscar Writing (Adapted Screenplay) 2019
Nominated for Best Picture 2019
Nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role 2019 (Adam Driver)
Nominated for Directing 2019 (Spike Lee)
Nominated for Film Editing 2019 (Barry Alexander Brown)
Nominated for Music (Original Score) 2019 (Terence Blanchard)