What an awful thing the truth is, and how comforting is a lie.”

― Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South

 

You’ve got to be a warrior,” her father told her. “There are certain things you might have to do, for the sake of all black people. And no matter what you do as an individual, you’re reflecting your group and your family. So make sure you’re correct.”

― Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South


C.P. ELLIS AND ANN ATWATER

The Best of Opposition—for the most part—the likelihood of a black female Activist and a white KKK leader becoming the best of anything back in the day was unthinkable. Yet here is a true life story that challenged that nonsense—Read more here.

Specifically— her name was Ann Atwater and his name was C.P. Ellis. How the two came together is very interesting and VERY important.

The Organizer

To begin with Ms. Atwater—was an organizer; She gave the poor African-Americans a voice. To demonstrate her dedication to the cause— she started up neighborhood councils, organized marches and stood up to politicians and Klansmen when it became necessary to do so.

In a 2013 column for The Durham News, Atwater wrote how she had almost killed Ellis a couple of years before those meetings, pulling a knife from her handbag at an event downtown where he kept “yelling n—– this and n—– that.”

As soon as he got close to me, I was going to grab his head from behind and cut him from ear to ear,” she wrote.

Durham News

The KKK Leader

C.P. Ellis started a youth group for children to brainwash and instill the views of the Klan; becoming the Leader of the KKK.

The Beginning of a friendship between two

It all began when the Durham City Schools was forced with court-orders to desegregate the schools in 1971. As a result the state received a grant from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare to address the school system’s racial policies.

Thus enters a community organizer —named Bill Riddick; he was concerned with acts of violence among the students, so he created a charrette; a group format that would allow the community to find a solution to solve their own problem.

However, before doing so — a steering committee was started with representative of the community. The very first thing Mr. Riddick did was to invite Ann Atwater a civil rights activist, and the KKK leader C.P. Ellis to co-chair the meetings. Both of whom were influential people with two different mindsets.

A Change in Mindset

When the 10 days of talks ended C.P. Ellis and Ann Atwater became improbable friends. This presented a different mindset for Mr. Ellis—he started to see that whites, especially poor whites, could benefit from the civil rights movement, as well. Frankly, they were facing the exact same problems as the African American citizens in Durham.

The Movie

 

The Best of Enemies’ Fact vs. Fiction: How the Film Compares to Real-Life Events

 

By Dory Jackson On 4/5/19 at 9:40 AM ED

The Best of Enemies sees Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell explore the true story of an unconventional friendship that formed between a civil rights activist and a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) president in 1971.

While most movies based on true events alter moments to make them more Hollywood-friendly, director Robin Bissell was committed to depicting the story as-is.

Ann Atwater (Henson) initially goes head-to-head in The Best of Enemieswith C.P. Ellis (Rockwell) over the integration of schools in Durham, North Carolina.

The pair eventually come together to serve as co-chairs for the Save Our Schools summit, which aimed to address the desegregation of schools. While Atwater and Ellis initially despised each other, they wound up forming a friendship due to their involvement in the community summit.

We didn’t really have to Hollywoodize the story because just reading it seemed fake already … But then when you do the research and, you know, this stuff really actually happened,” Henson, 48, told Collider in an interview published Wednesday. “Her flipping that man around and hitting him in the head with the phone. All [of] that is true. None of that we, you know, embellished on—that actually happened. I think [for] everyone involved, we were interested in telling the truth.”

“It wasn’t about a Hollywood moment. It was about a moment in history that actually happened. We are actually seeing again happening now in 2019. So that was the importance of the film. It wasn’t about making [a] Hollywood movie. We didn’t care about a Hollywood film. We wanted a film that is going to impact lives, change thoughts and perceptions,” she concluded.

 

Words from the Opinionated Jusmee…

Just goes to show you how deep hatred based on the color of your skin can be!!

It is very important to recognize—the desegregation of segregated schools was deemed unconstitutional back in 1954; and Durham began to integrate its first schools in 1959.

However, it seems that there were still segregated schools in 1971.

THE BEST OF ENEMIES very good movie based on TRUTH…AND IGNORED BY THE MEDIA. Watch clip here

I Watched the movie over and over again.

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