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Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Chicago State and teacher training
BOND: I hate to keep skipping back and forth, but you're the first person in your family to go to college.
WILLIAMS: First person.
BOND: Was that hard?
WILLIAMS: Well, it wasn't hard because my mother always wanted me to -- She wanted me to get a college degree. That's why she didn't want me to have these part - time jobs, right? She thought that would detract from my getting my college degree and I worked my way through school, but it was always an important goal for me.
BOND: Why'd you choose Chicago State?
WILLIAMS: Because Chicago State was a direct track to the Chicago public school system. So in those days, if you had a degree from Chicago State—in those days it was called Chicago Teachers' College—you automatically once you graduated, you were going to become a certified teacher, so I thought this was, again, great job security and also being a high school teacher in Chicago was a great job in those days.
BOND: While you were at Chicago State, it became a state school. It had been a private school before.
WILLIAMS: No, it was always public.
BOND: But it became a state - controlled school.
WILLIAMS: That's right.
BOND: How, if any way, did that affect you?
WILLIAMS: It didn't have any effect as far as I can remember on the students. We still were a direct track into the Chicago public school system then and a large percentage of teachers in Chicago were graduates of Chicago Teachers College.
BOND: So it didn't really change anything in your life.
WILLIAMS: It didn't really change anything, not really. It didn't change anything.