breaking news

Arrest made in ex-DeKalb football standout’s murder

Hosea Williams: His legacy lives on

AJC Sepia Black History Month

Hosea Williams was a colorful Atlanta civil rights figure, often wearing his trademark denim bib overalls, red shirt and red Converse sneakers.

After Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, Williams’ focus became clear: He needed to nourish those who were suffering the most.

“That fire would not let him rest until he started feeding the hungry, ” said former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young at Williams’ funeral in 2000. Williams died after a long battle with kidney cancer, but Young remembered his passionate character in that speech. “He had fire in his bones,” he said.

Williams crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama on Bloody Sunday in 1965 with Rep. John Lewis. By his own account, he was arrested 135 times as he campaigned for civil rights from the 1950s to the ’70s. He happily played bad cop to Young’s good cop, and Young said this gave King “some room to come down the middle.”

His name lives on with his long-time non-profit group, long named Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. His Thanksgiving Day dinner continues to draw hundreds of volunteers and thousands of homeless. His daughter Elisabeth Omilami recently re-named Hosea Helps as its mission has broadened to be more of a year-around effort.

His equally colorful grand-daughter Porsha Williams has kept his name alive for a new generation in an unusual way: as a reality show star. She is part of Bravo’s hit show “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and a host on syndicated gossip show “Dish Nation.”

Celebrate Black History Month

Throughout February, we’ll spotlight a different African-American pioneer in the daily Living section Monday through Thursday and Saturday. Go to for more subscriber exclusives on people, places and organizations that have changed the world, and to see videos on the African-American pioneer featured here each day.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Living

The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins talks brotherly love, Clermont Lounge
The Darkness’ Dan Hawkins talks brotherly love, Clermont Lounge

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene In 2003, a song featuring the serrated guitar and falsetto vocals of brothers Dan and Justin Hawkins, respectively, blasted onto rock radio. “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” was both revolutionary and nostalgic, a pounding stomp of a song delivered by guys with an affinity for...
‘Where there’s a wheel there’s a way’

In every competition, the Pease brothers ring a bell attached to their equipment to let others know they are approaching. It’s a sign of the brothers’ competitive spirit in such events as the New York City Marathon, the Ironman 70.3 Raleigh and the AJC Peachtree Road Race, taking place this summer. Brent and Kyle live in Dunwoody and Buckhead...
“Cosby” reruns are gone from Atlanta-based Bounce TV

“The Cosby Show” reruns are gone from Atlanta-based Bounce TV following guilty verdicts returned today by a Pennsylvania jury. “Effective immediately, Bounce is removing ‘The Cosby Show’ from our schedule,” the network said in a statement to media outlets including The...
Free ticket giveaway: Yanni at the Fox Theatre
Free ticket giveaway: Yanni at the Fox Theatre

A slightly more shorn Yanni will celebrate a 25th anniversary at the Fox. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Back in the early ‘90s, Yanni was regarded as much for his lustrous locks as his intoxicating synthesizer work. The Greek instrumentalist vaulted to mainstream fame upon the release of “Live at the Acropolis” in 1994, a concert...
Taste of Marietta: 16 things to do this weekend in Atlanta
Taste of Marietta: 16 things to do this weekend in Atlanta

It's a festival-filled weekend and just about every county in the Metro is celebrating spring with music events, food festivals, parades and community-rich activities. Don't miss out on the rainy weather clearing and sunshine taking its place at a number of happenings this weekend in Atlanta. Plus, you won't need to break the bank to have a great...
More Stories