Ann Atwater (July 1, 1935 – June 20, 2016) was an American civil rights activist in Durham, North Carolina. Throughout her career she helped improve the quality of life in Durham through programs such as Operation Breakthrough (Durham, North Carolina), a community organization dedicated to fight the War on Poverty. Her life and friendship with C.P. Ellis, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, was the subject of a book, play, and feature film, The Best of Enemies.
Click here to access part 2 of Ann Atwater's interview. Listen to 10:07-16:00 as she discusses her relationship with C.P. Ellis and the organization of the Durham Charrette in 1971. The Durham Charrette was a collection of white and African American Durham citizens brought together to ease tensions in the integration of schools.
Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South was an oral history project led by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University from 1992-1995. The project used scholars to interview African Americans to capture their personal experiences living through the era of Jim Crow. There are over 1,200 interviews, with 310 from North Carolina, and 44 specifically from Durham. 410 have been digitized and available in the Duke Libraries Digital Collections.