Daryl Davis Speaks at Country Day


Brina Crellin, Co-Editor-in-Chief '25

In Mrs. DiMatteo’s English class in 8th grade, we had to write a rhetoric paper about a TedTalk of our choosing. We had to watch through it and decipher all the grammatical ways the speaker spoke to the audience. Being the difficult middle schooler I was, I decided to spend days finding the perfect TedTalk that no one else would find. I eventually stumbled across one titled “Why I, as a Black Man, Attend KKK Rallies.” I was shocked. There seems to be so much wrong with that sentence, but nonetheless, I was utterly intrigued. I gave it a watch and immediately knew this was the TedTalk I was going to write my paper on.

The man giving the TedTalk was named Daryl Davis, the same Daryl Davis who came and talked to all of us on April 26th. At the time I was writing that paper in 2020, I never thought that I was going to see Mr. Davis in person, let alone hear him talk at my school. I was so intrigued by the TedTalk (despite my going through every word he said and deciphering it). He explained how he pushed the boundaries of others and brought up something so controversial in such a nonchalant way. It was inspiring to see him talk about race in a way that no one would think to try. If you have not seen this TedTalk yet, I really recommend doing so.

As many people know, junior Addison Heimann was the one responsible for bringing Mr. Davis here. When I found out Mr. Davis was coming to our school, I knew this was going to be my article for the next issue. I contacted Addison to interview him about the process of bringing Mr. Davis here and how he became so interested in this. He told me that he reached out to Mr. Davis and his agent after finding out he was going to give a talk at Xavier, and he was surprised he got a response back. After emailing back and forth, Addison went to Ms. Weinheimer and Mr. Zimmerman with his ideas.

“We emailed a lot, just coordinating the dates, and then once we found a date that worked, we then began raising money. We started a GoFundMe and we reached out to a lot of different accounts that worked for the school, like the Parent’s Association.”

This was an incredible opportunity that we as a school got to experience. Mr. Davis was a wonderful speaker, and I am glad that everyone went into this with an open mind and was willing to listen to him talk.