From Book To Blockbuster: 'The Best Of Enemies' Brings Durham History To The Screen

Apr 12, 2019

Osha Gray Davidson's book 'The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South' is now a major motion film starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.
Credit Annette Brown / EPK TV

Hollywood loves to feed us stories of good friendships and happy endings. At first glance, "The Best of Enemies" seems to fit that mold. The film tells the story of civil rights advocate Ann Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C. P. Ellis. The pair vehemently hated each other yet managed to gain respect for one another as they argued opposite sides of the school integration debate. Author Osha Gray Davidson, who wrote the book upon which the movie was based, explains how their story goes much deeper than an improbable friendship to examine the complex constructions of race and class in Southern society. 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Davidson about the relationship he chronicled in his book "The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South" (1996) and the impact he hopes the narrative can have as a major motion picture.