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Professor Dr. Caroyln Williams, Jacksonville FL Biography

Updated on January 29, 2012

I. Revitalize! That is the word spoken with passion by Dr. Carolyn Williams. Revitalize, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the word to describe her enthusiasm for Jacksonville and its history.

II. Dr. Carolyn Williams is a woman of many talents. For the last 20 years she has been using history to create new resources for our city. She is a native of Jacksonville, is an Associate Professor of History at University of North Florida, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Co-Director of the Bette J. Soldwedel Gender Research Center at the University of North Florida. She teaches classes in American History, Multicultural Studies, Gender Studies and Public History. She earned her Ph.D. in History from UCLA. A book for sell and one in the works: She's working on a second book of photographs focusing on African-Americans in Jacksonville. (Florida Humanities Council)

III. She grew up here in Jacksonville, in a neighborhood called Dirkeeville. She grew up with idols such as Rutledge Perason, leader of the NAACP movement here in the 1960’s was her civics teacher, Alpha Hays Moore, who was the visionary choral music writer was her godmother and role model. All around her were visionaries that showed her how the city of Jacksonville was a story waiting to be written. According to an article written in the Jacksonville Times Union on August 28th, 2008 Dr. Williams says that “There's not enough emphasis placed on Jacksonville history. We have an incredibly rich history here and most people don't really know about it.” (Conner)

IV. In Dr. Williams passion, she gives lectures about the importance of Jacksonville’s history. She is a member of the Florida Task Force for African American History Curriculum; the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Task Force; the Florida State Review Committee for Historic Markers; and the Jacksonville Historic Preservation Commission; and is chair of the Northeast Florida Historic Preservation Commission. All of those fancy titles does not tell us about her passion for the city of Jacksonville. They do not tell us about her lifelong love about the history of Jacksonville. More importantly these titles do not tell us the reason why she has come to talk to us today, to instill a sense of revitalization in us as business professionals for our city of Jacksonville.

V. Another quote from the same article in Jacksonville Times Union, “How can history help revitalize a community? One of the ways is instilling pride, and encouraging people to invest in the community.” (Conner)


Conner, Deirdre. Historian seeks to unite city through knowledge of past. 27 August 2008. 4 September 2008 <>.

Florida Humanities Council. "A Biographical Sketch, Carolyn Williams." Florida Humanities Council. 4 September 2008 <>.

Yahoo Shopping. 4 September 2008 <>.


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