As the country comes together to remember Doctor Martin Luther King Jr., one Bowling Green man is reflecting on his connection to this dark day in history.
“I’ll never forget it—the passion to do something,” Bowling Green Housing Authority Executive Director Abraham Williams recalls, “We didn’t know what to do, but we wanted to do something.”
He recites it from Memory—On April 4th, 1974, Abraham Williams was a freshman at Alabama A&M University,
“I was in the library studying for exams and they came in and said that Dr. King has been killed. Everyone said, “well what we going to do?”, we didn’t know what to do. We got downtown and when we got there, there was police officers with riot gear and shotguns pointed down at us. We was afraid, but we wasn’t. I had a great opportunity that night to realize what Dr. King stood for.”
Abraham has held onto that feeling of that night since then—channeling it, among many other successes, into his work at the Bowling Green Housing Authority and into the community.
“I wish I had the courage he had, but I’m not there yet. If I could be anything like Dr. King, I want to be humble. I want to say the things that need to be said. I want to make changes to things that need to be changed and since I’ve been at the Housing Authority, we’ve made some great strides. We’ve helped 140 people get homes, we’ve got an educational program, we get kids get to Western [Kentucky University], but what I’ve found out is that you can’t do anything alone. When I’m faced with adversity at the Housing Authority, I go back to see some things that he did and how he handled it.”
A constant inspiration of Abraham’s and millions across the world—helping lead his way fifty years ago and still, today.
“There’s a lot of doors I’m still trying to open, but there’s a lot of doors we’ve been able to kick in,” Abraham says, “not just in Alabama, but here in Bowling Green.”