Civil Rights Icon Ann Atwater, July 1, 1935 - June 20, 2016 | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Monday, June 20, 2016

Civil Rights Icon Ann Atwater, July 1, 1935 - June 20, 2016

Posted by on Mon, Jun 20, 2016 at 1:06 PM

click to enlarge Ann Atwater: "People can tell you how much good I've done in the community, but I haven't done enough for them to say, 'Here, Ann, we give you something back.'" - DEREK ANDERSON
  • Derek Anderson
  • Ann Atwater: "People can tell you how much good I've done in the community, but I haven't done enough for them to say, 'Here, Ann, we give you something back.'"
On Monday morning, Durham learned the sad news that legendary civil rights activist Ann Atwater had died at the age of eighty.

Her lasting legacy includes her longtime work with the poverty-fighting Operation Breakthrough.

Born in Hallsboro, N.C. in 1935, Atwater came to Durham as a married teenager. She witnessed and experienced, poverty and discrimination in Durham.  She didn't like the way she saw welfare office workers treated recipients. So she confronted them. She was active in the Durham business boycott of 1968. And things changed.

Back in the 1960s and seventies, Atwater was not above, say, thumping some Durham City Councilman on the head to let him know she demanded respect. It worked. 

Durham spiritual writer Jonathan Wilson-Hargrove reminisces about his friend at School for Conversion:

When I came to Durham thirteen years ago, Ann was one of the first local community builders I met. She shared the story of how she was invited in 1971 to co-lead the process to integrate Durham’s public schools. Her proposed partner was C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. She recalled a time when she had pulled out a pocket knife to kill Ellis, only to be talked down by a pastor in the crowd. But she connected with his pain when she heard Ellis describe the poor education his children were getting. For the rest of his life he was C.P. to Ann. They were, in the title of the book and play about their lives, The Best of Enemies, sustaining a fusion friendship for the common good despite all odds for over a quarter century.
Funeral services are being held at noon on Monday, June 27 at Mt. Calvary United Church of Christ, located at 1715 Athens Avenue in Durham. The burial ceremony is at Woodlawn Memorial Park at 2107 Liberty Street.








Tags: , ,

Pin It

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

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 News



Twitter Activity

Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Most Recent Comments

@ Hunter23 "A combination of investors and loans" is not specific, and nowhere in the article is the phrase "private …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

The article clearly states the building would be privately funded with the state/local gov pitching in for infrastructure enhancement. The …

by Hunter23 on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

I truly admire the passion and support the message. But it seems standing on an overpass during rush hour traffic …

by Diane Alenezi on High Above I-40, Protesters Call for "Health Care 4 All" (News)

This will turn the Mordecai neighborhood & surrounding neighborhoods (one of the only places in downtown Raleigh with any character …

by RJO_III on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

Oh Leanne, don't you know the GA laid them all off? And that people always crap on their own public …

by biIIy on North Carolina FC and John Kane Want to Put a Big Ol' Soccer Stadium in Downtown Raleigh (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation