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C.P. Ellis, 78; Once a Ku Klux Klan Leader,

Obituaries C.P.Ellis KKK leader 2005

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#1 Nonny

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 02:31 PM

LA Times

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C.P. Ellis, 78; Once a Ku Klux Klan Leader, He Became a Civil Rights Activist
By Myrna Oliver, Times Staff Writer

C.P. Ellis, whose startling metamorphosis from Ku Klux Klan officer to civil rights activist was described in the 1996 book "Best of Enemies" and a subsequent documentary, "An Unlikely Friendship," has died. He was 78.

Ellis died Thursday at Durham Regional Hospital in Durham, N.C., of undisclosed causes. He had suffered from Alzheimer's disease and used a wheelchair in recent years.

Both Ellis' "enemy" and "friend" of the book and film titles was Ann Atwater, a black advocate of desegregation in Durham.

The event that converted the city's oft-praised "odd couple" from adversaries to allies was a 1971 community discussion session about the violence occurring as Durham tried to integrate its schools. Ellis and Atwater co-chaired the 10 days of 12-hour talks, forging not only the unusual friendship but profoundly changing Ellis' deeply rooted segregationist thinking.

Ellis and Atwater had been such bitter foes that she once pulled a knife on him at a Durham City Council meeting, and Ellis brought a machine gun to their first 1971 discussion session.

They became such close comrades that, after the meetings, Ellis renounced his position as Exalted Grand Cyclops of the KKK, repudiated segregation and joined Atwater in working to desegregate the Durham school system.

They continued to speak jointly at civil rights seminars and meetings for three decades.
Good to know that a person can make such a profound change.  :)  

Rest in peace, Mr Ellis.
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#2 sierraleone

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 10:45 PM

Wow, sounds like a fascinating life-story.
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Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#3 Nonny

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 11:39 PM

Yeah, total redemption, making more than the most of what you were born to.  :cool:  

Nonny
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#4 Rhea

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 01:31 PM

Amazing.  :cool:  :cool: It takes a big person to let go of old prejudices and start over fresh. Wow!
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