Rev. Dr. Hosea L. Williams
(1926 — 2000)

As remembered by daughter Dr. Barbara Jean Williams.

"A Profile in Courage"
 — President Bill Clinton

Renowned Civil Rights Leader who played a crucial role in sustaining demonstrations that led to the movement's greatest legislative accomplishments — the 1964 Civil Rights Bill the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Over 125 arrests and numerous beatings during civil disobedience and direct action protests throughout the South, Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York City. In 1987, organized the largest march since the sixties in segregated Forsyth County, Ga. Inducted in the inaugural ceremony of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.

Born, just prior to the Great Depression, on January 5, 1926 to a blind, single, teen-aged mother, the daughter of sharecroppers and a student at the "Macon, Ga. School for the Colored Blind", whose death left him orphaned at ten years old. Died November 16, 2000 at age 74. Purple Heart awarded for being wounded in World War II by a Nazi bombing that caused a year long hospitalization in Europe. During his discharge trip, a near-fatal attack for violating "Jim Crow" laws at a "White Only" water fountain in his home state resulted in a second hospitalization.

Earned a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry under the GI Bill and became a Research Chemist the US Department of Agriculture, one of the first Blacks hired in this capacity. Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws and Distinguished Alumni Award by Morris Brown College.

Following King's teachings to "clothe the naked and feed the hungry," founded Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless in 1970, currently the largest direct-to-client food service organization in the Southeast and a provider of medical and educational aid in Haiti and Philippines, Hosea Feed the Hungry & Homeless.

Represented the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) on a "World-wide Brotherhood Tour" to seventeen nations in 1971 including traveling to the People's Republic of China, before President Nixon, as the ninth American admitted in half a century. Served in all levels of state elected office — Georgia General Assembly, Atlanta City Council, and County Commissioner — as well as a Businessman, Newspaper Publisher, television host, and sole contributor of the Hosea L. Williams Papers-1958-2000, Hosea L. Williams Papers at Atlanta's Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Research and Culture.

Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson
President Emerson Consultants, LTD.

© All Rights reserved, 2012

As remembered by Terrie Randolph.


Hosea began his career as a "Freedom Fighter" and civil rights activist, a career that spanned nearly four decades, when he led the integration of the South's first passenger train, the Nancy Hanks, that ran from Savannah to Atlanta. In 1957, he led the Human Rights Movement that integrated the South's first public beach, Tybee Beach, also in Savannah. Having been kicked out of the NAACP for militancy in 1961, Hosea organized the Chatham County Crusade for Voerts, which later became an affiliate of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Under his leadership, the Chatham County Crusade for Voters mounted Georgia's first non-violent direct action campaign. In 1962, Martin Luther King, Jr. declared Savannah themost integrated city South of the Mason-Dixon Line as a direct result of Hosea Williams' leadership.

Because he challenged the racism on his job as a research chemcist and the conservatism of older black leaders, Hosea was fired from his position in 1964 with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Although he successfully appealed the firing and was rehired as a government scientists, Hosea resigned his position that same year and accepted Dr. King's ofer to become one of the top field generals of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. As National Director of Voter Registration and Political Educaiton, Hosea conceived and carried out the Summer Community Organization and Political Education Project (SCOPE) during which over 1,100 students and professionals registered over three million new black overs in 11 states. It was in leading the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on "Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, that Hosea's raw courage was not only immortalized for the nation and the world to see, but was also instrumental in forcing the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Bill. As Dr. King's chief Organizer and National Field Director, Hosea became responsible for organizing nonviolent movements throughout the Southland and continued the struggle until his death on November 16, 2002.

Hosea is most famous for his philosophy of being "Un-BOSSED and Un- BOUGHT," which allowed him to continue his fight against injustice on political and economic fronts throughout his life. He continued throught to his last days giving hope to the hopeless and a voice to the voiceless.


Breaking through silence to speak truth to power
A man of raw courage -- Un-Bossed and Un-Bought

Fighting for freedom and social change
A man of vision -- Un-Bossed and Un-Bought

Bearing other people's afflictions with strength to spare
An awesome servant -- Un-Bossed and Un-Bought

Upholding the rights of the comman man
A compassionate leader -- Un-Bossed and Un-Bought

Holding fast to the dream, a keeper of the flame
A man of faith -- Un-Bossed and Un-Bought

Empowering others with magnanimous works
The legendary Hosea is Un-BOSSED and Un-BOUGHT!!

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