By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer,

Dr. Eugene Williams lived through the days of Jim Crow America in Virginia and the struggles for equality that accompanied the Civil Rights Movement and social change.  The pain of his childhood fueled his drive to become an accomplished educator in the DMV and a vanguard for change in professional sports.

Dr. Eugene Williams (Courtesy Photo)

The former Howard University professor was an educator in the Prince George’s County and Washington D.C. Public School Systems for over 40 years. He continues a quest – for the second year to have all professional sports franchises recognize the African American heritage of the United States during the national anthem prior to the start of all sports events.

“This is not about money or attention for me,” Dr. Williams told the AFRO.  “I want to help strengthen the resolve in young people and prove just how important they are to this country.”

In quiet and resilient fashion, Dr. Williams continues making phone calls, sending emails, and using social media to push for the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to accompany the “Star Spangled Banner” during the patriotic ceremony.  He hopes that each NBA team will at least use the Black Anthem during Black History Month and ultimately for the entire season.  In 2018 three teams – the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, and Washington Wizards honored the request.

Dr. Williams has also written books on historic figures which are used to define vocabulary so students with academic challenges or disabilities can develop reading and comprehension skills.