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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Benjamin V. Williams papers consists on correspondence, news reports, audiovisual material, speeches, employment records, photographs, and memorabilia documenting Ben Williams’ long career as a journalist and reporter for KPIX and other news San Francisco Bay news organizations.
Background
Journalist and television reporter Benjamin Vernon Williams (1927-2012) was born on January 25, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri. He grew up in a working class neighborhood in St. Louis attending Riddick Elementary School and graduated from Charles Sumner High School, the first high school for African Americans west of the Mississippi River, in June, 1945. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army working as an administrative assistant for two years. At the time, higher education in Missouri was segregated and African Americans were not able to attend the University of Missouri. Lincoln University, a historically black college in Jefferson City, Missouri, was the only college in Missouri open to African Americans that offered a degree in journalism. He enrolled at Lincoln University in the fall of 1947, majoring in journalism and sociology, before moving back to St. Louis where he split time working at the post office while also working at the St. Louis Call and the St. Louis Argus as a newspaper reporter.
Extent
4 linear feet (8 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Restrictions
Permission to publish from the Benjamin V. Williams Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
Access to audiovisual material is restricted. See archivist for details.