Ann Atwater

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Ann Atwater (born July 1, 1935) is a civil rights activist. She attended Mount Calvary UCC in Durham, North Carolina. She was involved in the civil rights movement and at the time was nicknamed "Roughhouse Annie".[1]

An Unlikely Friendship[edit]

She was the subject of a 2002 film entitled An Unlikely Friendship, the story of a relationship between Atwater and C. P. Ellis, a former Ku Klux Klan leader. In 1971 there was a great deal of turmoil in the Durham NC City Schools because of a court-ordered desegregation. Bill Riddick, motivated by fears of violence among the students organized a ten-day community meeting called a charrette where the whole community came to try to solve this problem. The first step was to create a steering committee that was representative of the whole community. Riddick identified Ann Atwater, a poor African American welfare mom and civil rights activist and Ellis to co-chair that meeting.


  1. ^ Kenrick, D. T., Neuberg, S. L., & Cialdini, R. B. (2009). Social psychology, goals in interaction. (5th ed. ed., pp. 143-179). Boston: Pearson College Div.