The Book

Cover of "The Best of Enemies"

Donated by Friends of the Durham Library

From UNC Press: “C.P. Ellis grew up in the poor white section of Durham, North Carolina, and as a young man joined the Ku Klux Klan. Ann Atwater, a single mother from the poor black part of town, quit her job as a household domestic to join the civil rights fight. During the 1960s, as the country struggled with the explosive issue of race, Ellis and Atwater met on opposite sides of the public school integration issue. Their encounters were charged with hatred and suspicion. In an amazing set of transformations, however, each of them came to see how the other had been exploited by the South’s rigid power structure, and they forged a friendship that flourished against a backdrop of unrelenting bigotry.”

Find a copy

The Best of Enemies is available from Durham County Library in multiple formats:

About the author

Osha Gray DavidsonIn his own words, Osha Gray Davidson is “…a story teller of the non-fiction variety. I use words, images, and sounds – online, in books and magazines, or in movie theaters – to tell the stories I think are important.” He has worked most recently as a podcast producer (exploring issues of reparations for descendants of slavery in America).

He has worked widely in the media and publishing fields in such diverse roles as: project reporter, science writer, contributing writer, journalist, photographer, screenplay writer, Adjunct Faculty, special correspondent, and website publisher. His research, writing, reporting, and images appear in a broad variety of formats, including: Rolling Stone Magazine, Energy & the Environment (Forbes), Mother Jones, National Geographic, Popular Science, Salon.com, and many others.

Mr. Davidson’s areas of study range from GIS and Coral Reef Ecology to American Indian Studies. His book titles include Clean Break: The Story of Germany’s Energy Transformation and What Americans Can Learn from It (Insideclimate News, 2012), Kirstenbosch: Africa’s Garden (Blurb Press, 2011), The Enchanted Prarie (University of Iowa Press, 2009), and many others. His work is included in several anthologies, and he has exhibited his photography and presented research from Hawaii to Germany.

Image courtesy of the author.

Additional presenters

Frank HymanIn 1984 Frank Hyman served as a Jesse Jackson delegate, helping to deliver South Carolina to Jesse’s presidential campaign. He was arrested in 2013 while protesting with Rev. William Barber during Moral Monday at the NC Legislative Building.

While serving on the Durham City Council in the 1990’s Frank Hyman authored the third living wage ordinance in the US and managed the ’96 bond campaign that funded $20 million worth of affordable housing and other improvements.

Frank has worked as both a paid and pro bono political consultant on several campaigns since 2008.

Learn more about Frank at www.bluecollarcomeback.com

Photo by Chris Cocheterie.


Eddie DavisEddie Davis spent 21 of his 37 years in the field of public education teaching at Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina.

In 1993, Governor Jim Hunt appointed Davis to an eight-year term on the State Board of Education. After his SBE service, Davis was appointed to chair the Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps.

In addition, Davis chaired the Hillside Model School Initiative, served as the faculty sponsor of the Hillside Student Council, and worked as an advisor to several Hornet senior classes.

After his retirement from public education in 2008, Davis formed a non-profit group called Inclusive North Carolina. Through this organization, Davis has researched and presented numerous historical presentations that document unsung contributions of women and minorities in public life.

Davis is married to Harriette Vanhook Davis. They are the parents of two adult children, Christopher Taylor and Jessica Taylor Williams.

Photo by Ron Ferrell – City of Durham, NC.


Diane BloomDiane Bloom, Ph.D., is an independent filmmaker and qualitative researcher from Chapel Hill, NC and is nationally recognized for her facilitation skills. Her work and clients include non-profits, governmental agencies, corporations, schools, colleges, and universities. She has presented training workshops on diversity and documentary filmmaking across the country. Dr. Bloom has also hosted a radio talk show and a cable television show on local issues in Chapel Hill, NC, where she lives.

Image courtesy of Diane Bloom.