A Conversation on Race with Dr. Heather Williams


"Freedom Through Education: African Americans in the 19th Century"

Tuesday, October 16 at 3 pm

Kochoff Hall B & C, University Center

Please join the University of Michigan-Dearborn in welcoming Dr. Heather Williams, noted educator and scholar to our campus.  Sponsored by the UM-Dearborn Office of the Chancellor, Office for Student Engagement, and the School of Education, the facilitated discussion will address one of many on-going topics relative to our region.

Heather Williams was born in Jamaica and moved to Brooklyn at the age of 11. Williams used what was known as the Black section of her school’s library to learn about the racial tension that existed in that day and time. After receiving her B.A and J.D. from Harvard University, as well as her M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, Dr. Williams pursued a career as a civil rights attorney. She currently works as a professor of History at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She teaches about African Americans during the 18th and 19th centuries, a period that encompasses the Civil War and slavery.

Heather Williams teaches and writes about African Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with emphasis in the American South. Her first book, Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom (UNC Press, 2005), received several book awards, including the Lillian Smith Book Prize. In her second book, Help Me to Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery (UNC Press, 2012), Williams guides readers back to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when people were sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children. The book was reviewed in the July 1, 2012 issue of the New York Times Book Review. With the support of a Mellon New Directions Fellowship, Williams is currently working on a project that examines the life experiences of Jamaican immigrants to the United States. She is also researching a book about violence on antebellum plantations.

For more information on this and future diversity related events, please contact the Office for Student Engagement at 313.593.5390.

The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers' views.