Don Black (white supremacist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Don Black
Black in 2007
Grand Wizard of the
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
In office
Preceded byDavid Duke[1]
Succeeded byStanley McCollum[2]
Personal details
Stephen Donald Black

(1953-07-28) July 28, 1953 (age 70)
Athens, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyAmerican Nazi
SpouseChloe Black
ChildrenDerek Black[3]
Residence(s)West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Alabama[4]
OccupationDatabase analyst
Known forStormfront,[5] neo-Nazism, white supremacy, antisemitism

Stephen Donald Black[6] (born July 28, 1953) is an American white supremacist.[6][7][8] He is the founder and webmaster of the neo-Nazi, Holocaust denial, and homophobic website Stormfront.[9][10][11][12] He was a Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan and a member of the American Nazi Party in the 1970s,[13][14] though at the time he was a member it was known as the "National Socialist White Peoples' Party".[15] He was convicted in 1981 of attempting an armed overthrow of the government in the island of Dominica in violation of the U.S. Neutrality Act.[16][17]

Early life[edit]

Black was born in Athens, Alabama, and became a white supremacy advocate at an early age when he began handing out swastika-adorned pamphlets from the National Socialist White People's Party at his high school, Athens High School, before transferring to Madison Academy in the fall of 1970 in order to avoid attending school with black students. This led to a decision by the local school board to ban the distribution of political literature. Black countered by mailing literature to student addresses obtained from school handbooks.[18][19]

In the summer of 1970, after his junior year at Athens High School, Black traveled to Savannah, Georgia, to work on the gubernatorial campaign of J. B. Stoner, a segregationist and leader of the National States' Rights Party (NSRP). It was in this election that Jimmy Carter won the Georgia governorship. Black was asked to obtain a copy of the NSRP membership list by Robert Lloyd, a leader of the National Socialist White People's Party, formerly known as the American Nazi Party.[20] At the time, Black was a member of the Party's youth branch, the National Socialist Youth Movement.

Also working on the Stoner campaign was Jerry Ray, brother of James Earl Ray, who committed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. On July 25, 1970, Jerry Ray shot Black (who was 16 at the time) in the chest with a .38-caliber hollow-point bullet to stop him from taking files from Stoner's campaign office.[21] Ray was acquitted of all charges, saying he shot in self-defense after Black reached for what appeared to be a weapon.[22][23][24]

Black finished his senior year at Madison Academy, a private school in Huntsville. Then after high school, Black graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1975.[4] In the early 1970s, Black traveled on a road trip to an American Nazi Party conference in Virginia with fellow white supremacists David Duke and Joseph Paul Franklin (the latter of who was later convicted of multiple acts of racial and antisemitic terrorism and executed for serial murder).[25]

The Ku Klux Klan and Operation Red Dog[edit]

Black joined the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1975, one year after David Duke took over the organization. He moved to Birmingham to become the group's state organizer. After the resignation of Duke in 1980,[26] Black became Grand Wizard, or national director, of the Klan. In 1979, he ran for mayor of Birmingham, receiving 2.5% of the vote.[27] Richard Arrington Jr. won the mayoral election, becoming Birmingham's first African American mayor.[28]

On April 27, 1981, Black and nine other would-be mercenaries – many recruited from Klan affiliated organizations – were arrested in New Orleans as they prepared to board a boat stocked with weapons and ammunition to invade the island nation Dominica in what they would call Operation Red Dog.[29] Local media labeled the botched attempt the "Bayou of Pigs", a play on words for the unsuccessful 1961 "Bay of Pigs Invasion" of Cuba.

Black later explained the invasion as an attempt to set up an anti-communist regime, saying, "What we were doing was in the best interests of the United States and its security in the hemisphere, and we feel betrayed by our own government."[14] The invasion was intended to restore former prime minister Patrick John to the mostly black Caribbean island. Prosecutors said the real purpose for the invasion would have been to set up tourism, gambling, offshore banking, and timber logging operations on the impoverished island.

In 1981, Black was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in the attempted invasion and his violation of the Neutrality Act.[30][31] He was released on November 15, 1984.[32] During his time in prison, Black took computer programming classes which led him to establish Stormfront on the Internet years later.[14]

He ran for office in Alabama, this time as a Populist Party U.S. Senate candidate.[33][34]


In 1995, Black founded Stormfront, which was the Internet's first significant website espousing racial hate. It remains among the most popular online resources for those drawn to racist ideologies.[35] The site has featured the writings of William Luther Pierce and David Duke as well as works by the Holocaust denying Institute for Historical Review and the Culture of Critique series. At first, along with these articles, Stormfront housed a library of white pride, neo-Nazi, and white power skinhead graphics for downloading, and a number of links to other white nationalist websites.

In a 1998 interview for the alternative weekly newspaper Miami New Times, Black said: "We want to take America back. We know a multicultural Yugoslav nation can't hold up for too long. Whites won't have any choice but to take military action. It's our children whose interests we have to defend."[14][36]

In 1999, Black created the website "", which is administered by Stormfront.[37] This website was created to malign the character of Dr King. In January 2018, the site remained online and surpassed sites containing reliable content in Google search results.[38] Today, the website is not accessible.

In December 2007, Black gained attention for donating money to Ron Paul's 2008 presidential run.[39]

In 2008, Black said that the establishment of white pride as a special interest group within the Republican Party is crucial.[40] Asked by an interviewer for Italian newspaper la Repubblica if Stormfront was not just the new Ku Klux Klan, Black responded affirmatively[clarification needed], though he noted that he would never say so to an American journalist.[40]

On May 5, 2009, it was announced that Black was one of 22 on a British Home Office list of individuals banned from entering the United Kingdom[41] for "promoting serious criminal activity and fostering hatred that might lead to inter-community violence".[6][42]

The Stormfront forum acts as one of the largest online gatherings of racism and Holocaust deniers in the world, with threads on this theme gaining hundreds of thousands of views.[43] A number of radio shows published by Black's web site have featured Holocaust denial.


In 2008, various media outlets reported that Black's wife, Chloe, worked as an executive assistant for sugar baron José Fanjul who runs the Florida Crystals company and owns a real estate business in Latin American countries. In particular, her job duties included acting as the spokesperson for a charter school "to lift underprivileged black and Hispanic children out of poverty."[44] The story resulted in Black being criticized by some other white nationalists.[44][45]

In August 2008, Black's 19-year-old son Derek Black was elected to one of 111 seats on the Palm Beach County, Florida Republican committee, with 167 of 287 votes.[3][46][47] The committee however, refused to seat Black, citing a loyalty oath he failed to sign before registering his candidacy. The oath states candidates must refrain from activities "likely to injure the name of the Republican Party."[3] He hosted the Derek Black Show weekdays on a local West Palm Beach, Florida AM radio station, WPBR, to which Don Black paid $600 a week to broadcast content on. The radio show ended in January 2013, with Derek Black appearing on few episodes over the last year.[48][49]

By summer 2013, Derek Black had called into question his racist ideologies,[50][51] and he began to renounce white supremacism and issued an apology to those harmed by his previous actions and beliefs.[52][53] His renunciation reportedly shocked his father and like-minded people.[54] By 2016, Derek Black had fully renounced his white nationalist views and was actively speaking out against such views in the press.[55][56] Washington Post staff writer Eli Saslow detailed the ideological transformation of Derek which began with the rejection of his family, moving to Michigan and assuming a new name and eventually becoming a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago, studying Medieval Islam.[57]


  1. ^ "DON BLACK / STORMFRONT" (PDF). Anti-Defamation League. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  2. ^ "Knights of the Ku Klux Klan".
  3. ^ a b c Cave, Damien (December 12, 2008). "A Local Election's Results Raise Major Questions on Race". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Don Black / Stormfront". Anti-Defamation League. 2012. Archived from the original on August 18, 2009. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  5. ^ Michael Wines and Stephanie Saul (July 5, 2015). "White Supremacists Extend Their Reach Through Websites". The New York Times. Retrieved July 6, 2015. he later ushered in the movement's Internet era with Stormfront in 1995
  6. ^ a b c "UK 'least wanted' list published", BBC News, May 5, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  7. ^ Swain, Carol Miller; Russ Nieli (2003). Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism in America. Cambridge University Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-0-521-81673-1.
  8. ^ Daniels, Jessie (2009). Cyber racism: white supremacy online and the new attack on civil rights. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-7425-6158-8.
  9. ^ Sources which consider Stormfront a white supremacist website are:
  10. ^ Finlay, Andrew (2004). Nationalism and Multiculturalism: Irish Identity, Citizenship and the Peace Process. p. 92.
  11. ^ Mur, Cindy (2005). Does the Internet Benefit Society?. Greenhaven Press. p. 30.
  12. ^ Johns, Amelia (July 1, 2015). ISS 18 Battle for the Flag. Melbourne University Press.
  13. ^ Etchingham, Julie (January 12, 2000). " expands on the net". BBC News. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c d David Schwab Abel (February 19, 1998). "The Racist Next Door". Miami New Times. (Stormfront copy of original article)
  15. ^ Bridges, Tyler (January 13, 1994). The Rise of David Duke. University Press of Mississippi. p. 40. ISBN 9780878056842 – via Internet Archive. Don black member american nazi party.
  16. ^ Lloyd, Robin (August 12, 1999). "Web trackers hunt racist groups online". CNN. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  17. ^ McKelvey, Tara (August 16, 2001). "Father and son team on hate site". USA Today. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
  18. ^ "New Pretender to KKK Leadership". The Tennessean. August 10, 1980. p. 19.
  19. ^ "New Pretender to KKK leadership". The Tennessean. August 10, 1980. p. 20.
  20. ^ H. Michael Barrett. "The 1970 Split In The NSWPP: A First Hand Account"
  21. ^ "Hate Website Stormfront Sees Rapid Growth of Neo-Nazi Community". Intelligence Report. 2005. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
  22. ^ "Man Acquitted Of Shooting Nazi". The Dispatch. November 25, 1970. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
  23. ^ "Jerry Ray Acquitted". Times-News. November 25, 1970.
  24. ^ "Earl Ray's Kin Acquitted On Assault Charge", Press-Courier, November 27, 1970
  25. ^ Josh Levin (June 10, 2020). "Robe and Ritual". Slow Burn. Slate (Podcast). Season 4 Episode 2. Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved June 12, 2020. As a student at LSU, [David] Duke wrote letters to the National Socialist White People's Party, the group formerly known as the American Nazi Party. These Nazis invited Duke to their annual conference in Virginia and suggested that he carpool with two other white supremacists. Here's the author, Eli Saslow. One of them was about his age. A guy named Joseph Paul Franklin. The other was about two or three years younger. A guy named Don Black. And they piled into this car and started driving, you know, at 800 miles up the highway. And over the course of those hours, these three kids became really close.{{cite podcast}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  26. ^ "Clipped from the Daily Advertiser". The Daily Advertiser. July 24, 1980. p. 1.
  27. ^ "Parsons, Arrington In Runoff", Gadsden Times, October 11, 1979
  28. ^ "Birmingham Gets First Black Mayor", Eugene Register-Guard, October 31, 1979
  29. ^ Operation Red Dog is the subject of Stewart Bell, Bayou of Pigs: The True Story of an Audacious Plot to Turn a Tropical Island into a Criminal Paradise (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
  30. ^ "Conspirators Get Three Years", Star-News, July 23, 1981
  31. ^ "U.S. Prosectors Pushing Hunt for Backers of Dominica Coup", Record-Journal, June 22, 1981
  32. ^ "Stephen D Black" Archived April 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on December 2, 2010.
  33. ^ "Fringe Party Offers Help to Candidate", Miami Herald - August 11, 1990
  34. ^ "Klansmen See Populist Party as Best Vechile, Candidate Says", South Florida Sun - Sentinel, April 16, 1990
  35. ^ Cohen-Almagor, Raphael. The Scope of Tolerance: Studies on the costs of free expression and freedom of the press. Routledge, 2005. 254.
  36. ^ Abel, David Schwab (February 19, 1998). "The Racist Next Door". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  37. ^ Ibanga, Imaeyen (June 12, 2009). "Hate Groups Effectively Use Web as a Recruiting Tool",; accessed May 27, 2016.
  38. ^ Collins, Ben; Toomey, Max (January 13, 2018). "MartinLutherKing.Org is Owned by Neo-Nazis". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  39. ^ "". Archived from the original on January 25, 2008. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  40. ^ a b Mario Calabresi (October 29, 2008). "Fermeremo Barack Obama siamo il nuovo Ku Klux Klan". la Repubblica. Retrieved November 17, 2008. Quote from Black: "Non è più tempo per cercare di creare un terzo partito destinato alla marginalità, dobbiamo presentarci ad ogni elezione primaria dentro il partito repubblicano così da imporre i nostri temi nel dibattito, dobbiamo lavorare per creare un nostro gruppo di interesse, per restaurare le tradizioni e i veri valori bianchi". This translates as: "There is no more time to try to create a third party for the marginalized, we must enter every primary election within the Republican Party to impose our issues in the debate, we must work to create our special interest group, to restore tradition and true white values."
  41. ^ "Home Office name hate promoters excluded from the UK" Archived May 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Home Office Press Release, May 5, 2009
  42. ^ "Who is on UK 'least wanted' list?", BBC News, May 5, 2009. Retrieved on 2009-05-06.
  43. ^ Behrens, Paul (2017). Holocaust and Genocide Denial : A Contextual Perspective. Milton Park: Taylor & Francis. p. 51. ISBN 9781138672734.
  44. ^ a b "Woman With Ties to White Supremacists Represents School for Blacks and Hispanics". Fox News. July 30, 2008. Archived from the original on August 5, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2008.
  45. ^ John Lantigua (July 26, 2008). "Local organizer, other supremacists say Obama's run boosts their cause". The Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011.
  46. ^ "". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012.
  47. ^ "Black & White". Toronto Star, pages IN6-7. Eli Saslow.
  48. ^ "Contributions in July". Stormfront. January 17, 2012. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  49. ^ "Stormfront Radio Going Off Air?". Southern Poverty Law Center.
  50. ^ Potok, Mark. "Derek Black: Have Stormfront Founder's Son's Politics Changed?". SPLC. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  51. ^ Barbaro, Michael (August 22, 2017). "'The Daily' Transcript: Interview With Former White Nationalist Derek Black". The New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
  52. ^ Black, Derek (July 15, 2013). "Letter to Mark Potok of Hatewatch" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  53. ^ Potok, Mark. "Activist Son of Key Racist Leader Renounces White Nationalism". Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  54. ^ Potok, Mark. "Racists React With Shock, Anger to Fellow Activist's Renunciation". SPLC. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 18, 2013.
  55. ^ Saslow, Eli. "The white flight of Derek Black". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  56. ^ Black, R. Derek (November 26, 2016). "Why I Left White Nationalism". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  57. ^ Saslow, Eli (2018). Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist. New York: Random House. ISBN 9781984833594.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Don Black (white supremacist) at Wikimedia Commons