From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Williams, Frances Harriet

(born: 1899  -  died: 1992) 

Frances Harriet Williams, a civil rights activist, was born in Danville, KY to Frank and Fannie B. Williams and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She was valedictorian of her high school class and  graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa from Mt. Holyoke College in 1919, having majored in chemistry and economics. She earned her masters in political science from the University of Chicago in 1931.

Williams had an active career with the YWCA and the NAACP. She was on the staff of Senator H. H. Lehman (D-NY), served as Assistant to the Executive Secretary of President Harry S Truman's Committee on Civil Rights, and was a staff member of the Office of the Price Administration.

The Frances Harriett Williams Award at Mount Holyoke was founded in 1981 and is given to "a minority junior or senior who exemplifies standards of academic excellence, social justice, and service to others."

For more see The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians, by A. A. DunniganWho's Who in Colored America, 1950; "Frances H. Williams" in Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965, edited by D. W. Houck and D. E. Dixon; Susan T. Gooden, "Frances Harriet Williams: Unsung Social Equity Pioneer," Public Administration Review, vol. 77, issue 2; "Frances Harriett Williams: Activist and Civil Servant in the United States in the Twentieth Century" at Wikidocumentaries; and a picture of Frances H. Williams at the Library of Congress website.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Danville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Williams, Frances Harriet,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 18, 2024,

Last modified: 2021-10-11 17:33:38