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Lillian Serece Williams

Born on 2-19-1944. She was born in Vicksburg, MS. She is accomplished in the area of Historian.
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Lillian S. Williams was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and was raised in Niagara Falls, New York, where her family moved when she was four years old. She is the oldest of nine children of Ada L. Williams and the late James L. Williams, Sr.
Committed to public education, Williams proudly acknowledges that she attended the public schools of Niagara Falls where she graduated with a New York State Regents diploma with four years' honors in mathematics, science, English, Social Studies, and Latin. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, where she majored in history.
She is a dedicated teacher, scholar, and community activist. She formerly chaired the Department of African American Studies at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York and now is associate professor in the Department of African and African American Studies. Prior to coming to UB, she was an associate professor at the University at Albany, SUNY, where she taught in the Women's Studies Department and directed the Institute for Research on Women. Her passion is history and she especially is committed to preserving the records of African Americans. While still a graduate student, she was a founder of the African American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier and associate editor of its journal, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History.
Williams spearheaded several projects for the organization that included hosting guests for its Sunday evening African American history radio broadcast series that brought renowned scholars to the Buffalo community. She organized the annual conferences for the AAHANF and participated in its community lecture series that was held at the North Jefferson Branch of the buffalo and Erie County Library. She is editor of the papers for the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs, the oldest secular African American organization still in existence.
Dr. Williams is the author of the highly acclaimed Strangers in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African American Community, Buffalo, New York, 1900-1925 published by Indiana University Press in 1999 and released in paperback in 2000. The monograph A Bridge to the Future: the History of Diversity in Girl Scouting which she prepared for Girl Scouts of America led to her current book project tentatively titled Blacks in Green: African Americans and the Girl Scout Movement. She is the biographer of turn-of-the-twentieth-century-Buffalonian and internationally acclaimed reformer Mary Burnett Talbert. Williams' other scholarly projects include historian consultant for the New York State Museum's permanent exhibition Black Capital: Harlem in the 1920s, the New York State Archive exhibit The Union Preserved: New York in the Civil War; and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of New York State.
Her parents stressed the importance of involvement in her community and a commitment to social justice. In pursuing this mandate, she served as a member of the mayor's technical advisory committee for the District of Columbia's Twenty-Year Comprehensive Plan, and she was an expert witness in a federal lawsuit that the NAACP litigated to challenge the at-large-councilmanic districts that disfranchised African Americans. She was a member of the board of directors of the Albany NAACP. She also served on the Education Committee of the Buffalo Urban League and the New York State Historic Records Advisory Board.
Dr. Williams has received several awards for her professional and service contributions. She is the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; the Niagara County Black Achievers awarded her the Lifetime Achievement award (2000); and she was selected as a fellow in the 2001 National African American Women's Leadership Institute. Williams was elected into the initial class of 150 Fellows of the New York Academy of History, June 2007 and the Young Women's Christian Association of the Niagara Frontier selected her as the 2009 recipient of its Racial Justice Award.