Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. was the guest speaker at Grambling State University’s Women’s History Month Convocation.She was the first African American to run a viable political campaign for the U.S. Congress in Louisiana.
“I have always loved Grambling. I learned more here than at any other university. There were people here who cared about me,” she said.
She mentioned Kara Vaughn Jackson, Dr. Helen Richards-Smith, Thelma Washington Williams, William Hobdy and legendary Coach Eddie G. Robinson.
Williams said it is the women who hold up the sky, and African American women accomplished things all over the world with much less.
“We have taken little and made a lot. Dorothy Height said, ‘We women do not always do what we want to do; we do what we have to do.’ All you have to do is tell a black woman that she can’t do something, and it is about to happen,” she said.
She spoke of contributions made by Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Harriett Tubman and Irene Morgan, an important predecessor to Rosa Parks in the fight to overturn segregation laws.
“If you are not inspired by Tubman and Truth, it’s just not in you,” she said.
She talked about Henrietta Lacks, who was the unwitting source of cells from her cancerous tumor, which were cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research.
She said, “We must honor these women. our mothers and grandmothers. Even when they were slaves, our people never gave up.”
She said, “Until the lions begin to tell their story, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunters.”
Williams said African Americans must tell their history.
“We should celebrate each other every day, not just in Black History Month. It is time for us to write our own stories,” she said.
“Women’s history is not just about women. We have to work together with our men to make our communities the best,” she said.
She told students, “This is your moment and time. Are you prepared to make a difference? What will be your legacy?”
GSU president Dr. Frank Pogue said it was an honor to welcome Williams home and congratulated her on her outstanding achievements.
“She represents, well, the winning tradition of Grambling,” he said.
Williams is chair of the National Congress of Black Women, professor, radio talk show host, business woman, peace and human rights activist, attorney, minister, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and a lifetime member of Grambling University National Alumni Association.
Brittany Fowler, a freshman nursing major from Dallas, said Williams is a strong Black woman.
“I have struggles, and hearing that she too had struggles and about all the accomplishments she had made, is like someone whispering to me to never give up,” she said.
Steve Bearden said,”She is a living example of success over the years. She proved many times how everyone can be successful and overcome any trial or tribulation and how the actions of one can move others and change the world.”
Bearden, a freshman English major from Dallas, said Williams told students to educate themselves and know themselves, so they can continue to break barriers, change lives as well as the world.
“What I took most from her was there is nothing you can’t overcome if you work at it and go the extra mile,” he said.