Eugene Williams

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Eugene Williams is a Charlottesville civil rights activist.


Williams was born on November 6, 1927 in Charlottesville as the oldest son of Septemia and Tom Williams. In 1949 he married Lorraine Payne of Ivy and together they had two daughters, Karol Lorraine and Scheryl Eugenia. [1]

Williams attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. [1] He served in the United States Air Force and worked as a district manager for the Richmond Beneficial Insurance Company, located at 400 Commerce Street in the Starr Hill neighborhood.[2]

As chair of the NAACP in 1954, Williams fought to desegregate Charlottesville public schools. Williams was party to a lawsuit that ultimately enabled his third-grade daughter Scheryl Williams to attend Johnson Elementary School in 1960.[3]

Williams founded Dogwood Housing Limited Partnership (1980-2007) which purchased and rehabilitated homes for low-income tenants.[3] Two other real estate partnerships included AEW LLC and Five-Eleven Associates. [1]

The City Council honored Williams by declaring November 6, 2017 as Eugene Williams Day. [1]

The Virginia General Assembly honored Williams with a commendation in 2015. [4]

External Links

Interview with Eugene Williams about civil rights, provided by the UVA Library


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Web. City Council Proclamation for Eugene Williams November 6, 2017, City of Charlottesville, November 6, 2017, retrieved Novemeber 10, 2017.
  2. Web. A long and winding road: City residents recall integration battles, Lisa Provence, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, April 8, 2004, retrieved November 10, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Web. Tectonic shift: Eugene Williams loosens his tie, Lisa Provence, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, April 5, 2007, retrieved November 10, 2017.
  4. Web. House Joint Resolution 743, Virginia General Assembly, retrieved November 10, 2017.

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