Hosea Williams - Colorful Characters - Anniversary - Atlanta Magazine

Hosea Williams



Hosea “Hosey” Williams served as a Georgia legislator, Atlanta City Council member, and DeKalb County commissioner, but his extracurricular activities earned him the most notoriety. He staged high-profile demonstrations, from Selma in 1965 to Forsyth County in 1987. The mules at MLK’s funeral were his idea. Though a trained chemist, Williams often donned bib overalls to identify with the working class. In the late eighties, he staged a hunger fast (with comedian Dick Gregory) to fight drug abuse. Williams was arrested more than 125 times, sometimes for legendary traffic violations. His Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless ministry, founded in 1971, continues under his daughter Elisabeth Omilami.

Big Heart During World War II, Williams earned a Purple Heart serving in an all-black unit under General George Patton.

Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta History Center

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  1. AndreW posted on 07/28/2011 08:32 AM
    It is a real shame that Hosea Williams is thought of as only a "coloful chracter" with thw likes of Rupaul. Any one who knows the civil rights history of Georgia knows the true politcal, cultural and societal impact that Hosea Williams had on Atlanta. To put Joe Lowery, who had no real singular accomplishments, ahead of Dr. Williams is a true indcation of what the list really means. Non-controversial uncle toms need only apply.
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