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Thinking Critically, Seventh Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Author Biographies
Chapter 5: Believing and Knowing

"Why I Quit the Klan" by C.P. Ellis (p. 227)

C. P. Ellis was, at one time, a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan in Durham, North Carolina. His life changed in the early 1970s, however, when he was appointed to co-chair a committee to resolve racial tensions arising over public school integration. The other chair was Ann Atwater, a black welfare mother who was a community organizer and activist. The two struggled with their working relationship, but eventually they grew to understand and respect each other, and finally to develop a deep friendship. At the end of the community meetings, Ellis tore up his Klan card in front of the hundreds in attendance, including his fellow Klan members. (The essayist Studs Terkel has written on this real-life story in "C.P. Ellis.")



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