Ann-Nakia Green ~ Infectiously Creating A Legacy In The Footprints Of Ann Atwater!

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Ann Atwater and Granddaughter Ann-Nakia Green

ANN-NAKIA GREEN carries forward the inspirational civil rights activism of her grandmother Ann Atwater. Ann Atwater is best known for changing the heart of, Ku Klux Klan Exalted Grand Cyclops, C.P.Ellis in support of the desegregation of schools in Durham, North Carolina. We talked to Ann-Nakia about her journey overcoming pain, her grandmother's activism, the current black lives matter movement and why Taraji P. Henson, who portrayed Ann Atwater in the film "Best of Enemies", is like family to her.

Tell us about growing up under the wing of your grandmother, civil rights activist, Ann Atwater? What was she like and what did she instill into you?

Where do I begin? Growing up under the wing of my grandmother was nothing short of amazing grace. Literally she was and, in many ways, remains my life raft. Grandma/Mama as I called her was strong with me yet soft. She taught me how a woman should speak up for herself, carry herself, as well as how to turn over a few tables, figuratively speaking, to get the job done.

Ann Atwater and C.P.Ellis

When did you first understand about the incredible activism that your grandmother did and how did it make you feel?

Probably right after my brother and I moved in to live with her around 1990, I was 7 years old. I heard my grandma's name ring out all over Durham, NC. If you needed assistance- Call Ann. If you felt like an injustice had been carried out against you and your family- Call Ann. If you were denied something that was beneficial to your livelihood and just overall survival- Call Ann. If you were running for city council, NC House or Congress- Call Ann. I remember attending my first Durham Committee on The Affairs of Black People meeting with her and watching how the body absorbed everything she said. I knew she was a big thing, but I had no idea she was a giant.