Donors help Ann Atwater | Durham County | Indy Week
Pin It

Donors help Ann Atwater 

She always helped others

In December, the Independent reported that longtime Durham activist Ann Atwater was facing financial trouble ("Racial reconciliation leader is in need," Dec. 28, www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A25860).

But these days, she's a little better off thanks to the support of Indy readers. Around 30 people responded to the article with more than $2,600 in contributions to the Ann Atwater Fund.

"Somebody's been thinking about me, I can tell you that," Atwater says. "And I'm just as happy as I can be."

Atwater, who recently turned 70, is known for the special relationship she shared with C.P. Ellis, the former Exalted Cyclops of the Durham Ku Klux Klan. In a July 1971 forum on the integration of Durham's public schools, Ellis, then an avowed white supremacist, and Atwater, a black activist, forged an unlikely friendship that overcame their racial and philosophical differences. Their friendship inspired a book, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South, and a documentary, An Unlikely Friendship. The two remained close until Ellis' death in November of last year.

"Every time he needed something, we were right there together," Atwater said. "The only friend he had was me."

In the years since their friendship began, Atwater has been a pillar in the East Durham community, raising money for poor schoolchildren, the sick and others in need.

"[People] just know I'm going to help them and they call me," she said. Recently, the tables turned.

In July, Atwater was invited to sit on a panel discussion on the role of women in Durham's Civil Rights movement. After the event, she went to the library's parking lot to find that her 2000 Ford Windstar had been repossessed for failure to make payments. She says somebody told her, "With all the hard work you did in Durham, the only thing you got out of it was a repossessed car."

Last month, Atwater paid off the balance of the minivan with the contributions to the fund. "I have a zero balance," Atwater says. "They are going to send me my title in 10 days. I'm through with that." She's using the remainder of the money to help meet her monthly expenses.

"I am so thankful," she says. "You don't really know how thankful I am."

  • She always helped others

More by Mosi Secret

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Durham County



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

The anonymous "Twilight Zone" Anti-American
wants to keep ['those'] people
in jail without trial and
(duhh...) "Cash …

by Chris Tiffany on The Human Relations Commission Issues a Scathing Report About the Durham County Detention Facility (Durham County)

Cash makes it harder for these thugs to get back out on the street to commit more crimes. You think …

by Twilight Zone on The Human Relations Commission Issues a Scathing Report About the Durham County Detention Facility (Durham County)

I will never, ever live in another neighborhood that has an HOA. It's not even up for debate.
I already …

by mike_in_nc on Does North Carolina give homeowners associations too much power? (Durham County)

I would not buy or invest in a development that did not have an HOA. That after having made the …

by 669283 on Does North Carolina give homeowners associations too much power? (Durham County)

I've never lived in a house built more recently than 1976, so I have no personal experience with HOAs. I …

by David 1 on Does North Carolina give homeowners associations too much power? (Durham County)

Comments

The anonymous "Twilight Zone" Anti-American
wants to keep ['those'] people
in jail without trial and
(duhh...) "Cash …

by Chris Tiffany on The Human Relations Commission Issues a Scathing Report About the Durham County Detention Facility (Durham County)

Cash makes it harder for these thugs to get back out on the street to commit more crimes. You think …

by Twilight Zone on The Human Relations Commission Issues a Scathing Report About the Durham County Detention Facility (Durham County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation