Oral History

Albert Simms Williams - On his life, family, community, and faith

Interviewed by Rob Stephens on October 8, 2009

Rev. Albert Williams is the minister at Staunton Memorial CME Church in Pittsboro. He is a lifetime resident of the area and was the first African American firefighter in Chapel Hill. This interview was conducted as part of the Jackson Center’s local life history series. Topics include: childhood in Chapel Hill; family history; St. Joseph CME Church; African American community of Chapel Hill/Carrboro; original neighborhood names; Northside Elementary School; changes in community and family life; experience working for lumber-yard; lessons from childhood teachers; call to ministry through near death experience; first sermon at St. Joseph CME; firefighting experience; awards received; time serving in army; affordable housing; promotions and race relations in fire service; sit-ins and integration; struggle and scars of legacy of Civil Rights; importance of education and responsibility; greatest rewards in life.

Albert Simms Williams - On his life, family, community, and faith

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Oral history interview of Williams, Albert Simms conducted by Rob Stephens on October 8, 2009 at Chapel Hill, NC.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Albert Simms Williams - On his life, family, community, and faith,” From the Rock Wall, accessed November 29, 2021, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/albert-simms-williams-2.

Rights: Permission from the interviewee is required before quoting from the interview.

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