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Williams, Hosea

b. 1926 - d. 2000

Hosea Williams was one of the most skilled protest organizers of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Awarded a Purple Heart in World War II, Williams attended Morris Brown College, earned a master’s from Atlanta University and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Active with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southeastern Georgia Crusade for Voters, Williams spoke on the power of the ballot at SCLC’s 1961 Annual Convention and was elected to its Board in 1962. In Selma, he and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) led demonstrators across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and were brutally attacked. Williams became SCLC’s southern project director, worked on the Chicago Campaign and was field organizer for the Poor People’s Campaign. After King’s death, Williams became SCLC’s executive director. In 1987, Williams confronted the Ku Klux Klan by leading a civil rights march of 20,000 people through Forsyth County, Georgia.

Associated Archive Content : 59 results

Memo from Tom Offenburger to SCLC Field Staff

Tom Offenburger released this memo to members of SCLC's field staff concerning the advertisement of the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

Memorandum to the SCLC Staff

In a memorandum sent to the SCLC staff, just days before Dr. King's assassination, Tom Offenburger informs members of a meeting Dr. King had with his advisers. The main focus of the meeting was the march in Memphis which turned violent, as well as the future of the Poor People's Campaign. In spite of the violence, there remains plans to go to Washington and correct the economic racism the US faces.

MLK Address to the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the SCLC

Dr. King, at the Tenth Anniversary Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses numerous civil rights issues the organization is addressing throughout America.

NCNP Role in the South, 1968, with Proposed Budget

Hosea Williams writes Mr. Pepper persuading him to have a program for the National Conference on New Politics in the South. He feels the programs would help many of the states in the South come together through a south-wide congress. Mr. Williams then includes the targeted states and cities as well as the financial aspects to make sure this program is a success.

News Release About Upcoming Lecture by Coretta Scott King

This news release announces Coretta Scott King's upcoming lecture on the Crusade for Voter's Registration entitled "Free in 64-with 6,000 more."

News Release Regarding Birmingham Shooting at Liberty Supermarket

This SCLC press release was issued in the wake of a violent episode in Birmingham, Alabama on February 21, 1966. That night, 23 year old Emory W. McGowen drove his car into a group of protesters before opening fire on the crowd wounding five people. The protest, called by Hosea L. Williams, was against Liberty Supermarket, a business being targeted for employment discrimination. The release contains information regarding the incident and includes pertinent quotes from Dr. King, Mr. Williams, and local minister and witness Rev. Wood.

Nonviolent Leaders

Dr. King, Hosea Williams, and Bernard Lafayette are mentioned and photographed in a newspaper article that has been defaced by external drawings. The article is also covered in adverse commentary about the three leaders.

North and South

The SCLC newsletter informs its readers of the recent events that its members have taken part in. Hosea Williams went to Chicago to conduct a voter registration and voter motivation drive. Also, the SCLC's Operation Breadbasket, led by Jesse Jackson, made an agreement with a big food chain company. The company agreed to transfer some accounts from white banks to struggling Negro banks and to offer its Negro customers products manufactured by small Negro firms.

North and South: SCLC Staff News January, 1967

The January, 1967 edition of SCLC's staff newsletter shares Christmas and New Year stories from the staff members and their families. The newsletter also reports on recent activities of the organization such as a Chicago boycott, Junius Griffin's move to the Republican National Committee, a political rally, the SCLC's housing project in Chicago, a recent conference on Negro history, the situation in Grenada, Mississippi and other news items.

Poor People's Campaign

Dr. King is touring the nation to meet poor people in an effort to expose their living conditions. He also wants them to join the campaign to fight for better housing and jobs.

Power for the Powerless - SCLC's Basic Challenge

This report outlines the objectives of the SCLC, as well as programs and projects led by various departments. It also includes a staff listing and organizational chart.

Press Release on School Integration of Taliaferro County, Georgia

This press release by Dr. King commends the decision of the three-judge panel on the decision of school integration.

SCLC Action Committee Meeting

This critical 2-day strategy meeting of key SCLC staff takes place 2 months prior to the projected start of the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, DC. Dr. King expresses concern that they have not met their target goals for participation. Debate ensues about whether to call off the campaign or push it to a later date, and also whether SCLC should abandon all of its other commitments to ensure the success of this project. Problems and solutions are discussed. Staff assignments made for recruitment of the poor, materials, organizational structure, tentative plan of action, D.C.

SCLC Annual Board Meeting Agenda

This 1965 SCLC annual board meeting agenda lists several key figures who are intended to discuss their respective projects and strategies during this two-day session.

SCLC Launches Chicago Political Drive

The SCLC releases a statement regarding the launching of a Chicago Political Drive, sponsored by the SCLC and the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations. SCLC Southern Project Director, Hosea Williams, will head the campaign. The focuses of this campaign are voter registration and education.

SCLC Memo on the Washington Campaign

Tom Offenburger announces a meeting concerning publicity for the 1968 Poor People's Campaign.

SCLC News Bulletin

This SCLC bulletin to supporters details the organization's progress in numerous locations, including its growing presence in northern cities such as Cleveland, Operation Breadbasket in Chicago, and the Citizenship Education Program. A "Fiscal Facts" section stresses that Dr. King receives no salary from SCLC, nor any other income from his work with the organization.

SCLC News Bulletin for November 1967

This November 1967 news bulletin published by the SCLC contains updates regarding progress of the Civil Rights Movement, excerpts from the President's Annual Report and financial facts for the organization's supporters.

SCLC Newsletter

This SCLC Newsletter discusses topics such as anti-Semitism, progress in various parts of the country, and Operation Breadbasket.

SCLC Newsletter: February 1964

This SCLC newsletter covers items ranging from Dr. King's Nobel Peace Prize nomination to voter registration drives throughout the country. The lead photo features national civil rights leaders "summoned to the White House for a special conference with President Lyndon B. Johnson."

SCLC Newsletter: January-February 1966

This early 1966 SCLC Newsletter reports the organization's recent activity. Main columns focus on Hosea Williams' voter registration work in Birmingham, Alabama and efforts towards slum eradication in Chicago and Atlanta. The document also includes photographic content of Dr. King's public speaking endeavors and evidence of the slum crisis. Consistent school inequities and segregation are the last topics discussed.

SCLC Participates at Chicago Conference of New Politics

Dr. King asserts that "serious distortions" from the press have defaced the image of the SCLC in regards to the organization's involvement at the Chicago Conference of New Politics. Factually, at the conference, members of the SCLC were the most active and coherent opponents of the resolution in the Middle East. The SCLC perceives that the issue in the Middle East must involve security and development. The political realities and possible methods of improvement within the Middle East are discussed and elaborated upon.

SCLC Proposal for Recruiting "Grass Root" Delegates

This document contains a proposal for recruiting 1,745 "grass root" delegates to the SCLC's 1967 Annual Convention. Also included is a desired amount of delegates from southern states, a proposed list of meeting places, and a budget for recruiting the delegates.

SCLC Resolution "To Fulfill These Rights"

The SCLC releases a copy of the resolution, "To Fulfill These Rights," created by the SCLC's Alabama staff and sent to the White House Conference. Hosea Williams states in the resolution that Negroes who voted in the primary were intimidated by white segregationist to not vote in the run-off.

SCLC Statement from Director of Communications

Tom Offenburger, SCLC spokesperson, releases a statement to the SCLC staff on future plans for the Poor People's Campaign in Memphis, Tennessee. Plans include marches and boycotts despite "brutal" actions on the behalf of Memphis police.

St. Augustine, Florida: 400 Years of Bigotry and Hate

The SCLC compiled and published this pamphlet about St. Augustine, Florida, describing a long history of racial discrimination and segregation supported by Northern tourism.

Telegram from Hosea Williams to President Johnson

Hosea Williams writes to President Lyndon B. Johnson requesting an investigation of the Andy Whatley murder.

The Chicago Freedom Movement: MLK Address

In this statement, Dr. King speaks on behalf of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Dr. King provides details concerning the overall mission, leadership and the predicated involvement of community organizations and participants.

United States National Student Association Scope Questionnaire

The United States National Student Association prepares to publish the second edition of SCOPE, a directory of community service projects in which students can become involved during the summer months. A questionnaire is enclosed for organizations interested in listing their program.

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