Audrey Perry Williams

Audrey Perry Williams was born in 1945 in Warwick County, Virginia, which later became Newport News, Virginia. Williams has spent much of her life in Hampton Roads, from childhood to adulthood. She grew up in Newsome Park, a housing development created during World War II for Black military and shipyard families, and she has fond memories of the neighborhood’s interconnectedness. After graduating from Carver High School, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Social Science from Norfolk State University and a master’s degree in History Education from Hampton University. She worked as a teacher for 10 years in Hampton City Public Schools and within various roles in the federal government for 23 years. She did not get involved in the civil rights movement growing up but, after attending Norfolk State University, she developed a passion for Black history and its preservation. She currently serves on the board of Project 1619 and as the president of the Hampton Roads chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

-Interview and biographical information recorded in 2015 and updated in 2021