Hosea Williams was born January 5, 1926, in Attapulgus, Georgia. He joined the NAACP in 1952 as well as the SCLC in 1964. In 1974, he was elected to the Georgia State Assembly. In 1987, he headed Georgia’s largest march, to Forsyth County. In 1996 he led a march to protest Georgia’s state flag. He expired on November 16, 2000, in Atlanta, Georgia.
When Williams’s mom died giving birth to his younger sister, both kids went to live with their grandparents. When Williams was 14, nevertheless, he was made to flee his grandparents’ farm to prevent being lynched for befriending a white girl. After three years working various work in Tallahassee, Florida, he returned home and made an unsuccessful effort at running the farm.
In the dawn of the Second World War, Williams joined the U.S. Army and served in an all-black unit under General George S. Patton. He was wounded during battle in Germany, and following a yearlong healing interval in a military hospital in England, he was sent home using the Purple Heart.
In now, Williams wed Juanita Terry at the same time. The couple would have five kids together and would adopt yet another four. Williams was inspired to join the NAACP after almost being killed for using a whites-only water fountain.
In 1964, Williams joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most trusted officials of the SCLC, Williams helped run black voter registration drives in the Freedom Summer of 1964. The highly publicized occasion ultimately prompted president Lyndon Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act. Additionally in 1965, King named William president of the SCLC’s Summer Community Organization and Political Education.
Throughout the late 1960s, at King’s urging, Williams collaborated using the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations about the Chicago Effort. In 1968, he returned to the South as field manager for the SCLC’s Poor People’s Campaign, as well as in April of the year seen King’s disastrous assassination. In the 1970s, Williams was elected executive director of the SCLC. HFTH has since given billions of dollars of food, medical and educational materials to recipients in Georgia, Uganda, the Philippines as well as the Ivory Coast.
In 1974, Williams won election to the Georgia State Assembly. He stayed a representative for the following ten years, until he stepped down and his wife took over his seat. From 1985 to 1990, Williams was an associate of the Atlanta City Council. From 1990 to 1994, he served as DeKalb County commissioner.
In 1987, Hosea Williams was responsible for directing Georgia’s most substantial civil rights march, during which some 20,000 protestors boldly defied racial slurs and physical violence from white supremacist counterdemonstrators in the all-white Forsyth County. Four years after, on November 16, 2000, Hosea Williams died of kidney cancer in Atlanta, Georgia.