Sep 22, 2011

President Williams Talks about Life on the Color Line

After moving to Cleveland recently with my husband, I was ecstatic to find out that UC President, Gregory H. Williams was planning to meet with UC alumni living in the Cleveland area.

On Thursday, Sept 8, President Williams met with a small group of alumni in downtown Cleveland. While attending the reception, my husband and I met so many fascinating UC alums. For the two hours we attended the event, we felt as if we were back in Cincinnati again. We had a chance to talk about the progress UC is making in a variety of ways. President Williams discussed his strategic plan for the University.

President Williams, me, Antione Drakeford,
UC Foundation President  Mike Carroll
UC alumni at Cleveland reception
On Friday, there was a separate event at The City Club of Cleveland. President Williams talked about his book, Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He was Black, and his perspective as an African American. In case you are not aware, President Williams is biracial and he grew up thinking he was white until he was ten. His life drastically changed once he found out his grandmother was black. His mother left his father during this time, and his family lost everything. As one can imagine, growing up as a biracial child during the Jim Crow era made his life extremely difficult.

Listening to President Williams talk about the troubles he has endured throughout his life was empowering. He discussed the current state of race relations in the United States today, and while the President of the United States is African American, he explained we still are striving towards Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream.
UC alumni with President Williams

"The dream still lives," President Williams said. "And in my view, it is up to each one of us to keep it alive and keep it real."

Watch President Williams' speech at The City Club of Cleveland by clicking on the YouTube video above. Have you read President Williams' book? What are your thoughts?

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