Kevin Willmott, coauthor of “BlacKkKlansman” speaks to Emporia State students last September in Plumb Hall. Willmott was nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay this year. 

With so many disheartening current events occurring across our country, the importance of Black History Month has been at the forefront of our minds.

Especially after a news editor in Alabama advocated for the return of the Ku Klux Klan and the return of the nightriders in an opinion piece titled “Klan needs to ride again.”

USA Today’s investigation that found a proliferation of racist photos in 1960s and 1970s yearbooks. The photos contained images of blackface, mock lynchings, Nazi flags and KKK hoods. 

This, along with news from Hollywood with Liam Neeson’s “racist revenge fantasy,” is more than a little concerning.

Are these really the times we are living in? 

Do we want racist reasoning to fuel our actions?

These actions should be rebuked, on all fronts, and we should remind ourselves of the importance of diversity. 

One of the most important Kansans alive today is Kevin Willmott. Willmott is a film director, professor of film at the University of Kansas and the coauthor of “BlacKkKlansman.” 

“BlacKkKlansman” is a visionary film in which Willmott and Spike Lee, the other author, team up with the group who produced Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” to tell the true story of Ron Stallworth.

Stallworth was the first African-American detective at the Colorado Springs Police Department who, with the help of a white detective, joins the Ku Klux Klan as part of an undercover investigation. 

Nominated for six Oscars, seven Satellite Awards and a Writers Guild Award, “BlacKkKlansman” tells an important story with an important, local perspective.

Willmott is a film genius and deserves more accolades than he will likely ever receive.

If you haven’t seen “BlacKkKlansman,” you should. While yes, it’s a satire, the ending scene with actual footage from Charlottesville makes the film more topical than ever. 

So take a couple hours, celebrate Black History Month and watch it. It’s an important part of our history that should be talked about. 

“BlacKkKlansman” is available to stream on Youtube, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon Prime for $6. It can also be rented through Redbox at Walmart, 2301 Industrial Rd., or Dillons Food Store, 902 E. 12th Ave. 

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