Interview with Avon Williams,

Project: Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Avon Williams, an influential African American attorney in Tennessee, was involved in several important civil rights cases. In 1949 he became a cooperating attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and in this position he assisted five black graduate students with admission to the University of Tennessee. He represented the plaintiffs in Geier v. Blanton, a case which resulted in the merger of the historically black Tennessee State University and the historically white University of Tennessee. Williams was also involved in a lawsuit against Nashville Metro Schools and later served as a Tennessee state senator.

In this interview, Avon Williams describes his education and his decision to attend law school at Boston University. Williams served in World War II and states that his experience in the segregated Army helped to intensify his feelings toward civil rights. Williams explains his views that Black children are taught from a young age that they are inferior to white people. Williams also discusses his opinion of Black Muslims, his total disagreement with segregation, his support of nonviolence, and his approval of economic boycotts.

Interview Accession

2003oh045_rpwcr034

Interviewee Name

Avon Williams

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964

Interview Partial Date

1964

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Williams, Avon Interview by Robert Penn Warren. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Williams, A. (n.d.). Interview by R. P. Warren. Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Williams, Avon, interview by Robert Penn Warren. (n.d.), Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt747d2q7s94