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Monday, July 5, 1999 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | PREVIOUS: Frederick Douglass Oration On July 4th
1999-07-05

Best of Enemies: The Story of a Friendship Between a Former Klansman and An African American Civil Rights Activist

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Theirs is a profoundly American story, a story of racial hatred and redemption in the American South. It is the story of an unlikely friendship between black and white, an unbelievable relationship that formed at the height of the civil rights movement and continues to this day.

He was the Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham, North Carolina. She was the leader of the United Organizations for Community Improvement, a militant black protest group. White racist C.P. Ellis and African American activist Ann Atwater met during the battle over school desegregation, and they have been friends and allies ever since.

Journalist Osha Gray Davidson tells their powerful story in his book ??The Best of Enemies: The Story of Race and Redemption.

Guests:

  • Ann Atwater, Civil rights leader who used to head the United Organizations for Community Improvement. Speaking from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • C.P. Ellis, former Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham, North Carolina. Speaking from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  • Osha Gray Davidson, journalist and author of the book ??The Best of Enemies: The Story of Race and Redemption, published by Scribner Books. Speaking from Iowa City, Iowa.

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