Bronzeville Historical Society Founder to Give MLK Lecture on Feb. 17

January 26, 2021 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Photo of Sherry Williams.Sherry Williams is an educator, naturalist and author who shares the rich cultural history of Chicago’s Bronzeville community while also developing gardens and natural areas to make green space more accessible to minoritized people living on Chicago’s South Side.

Williams will present Painful Past or Present Politics: An Examination of My Own Life in a Racially Polarized Chicago, this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture, on Feb. 17 in a virtual format.

Williams is the founder and president of the Bronzeville/Black Chicagoan Historical Society and the author of “100 Notable People and Places in Bronzeville.” In 2012 she was appointed to the Illinois Amistad Commission, whose function is to promote the education and awareness of slavery and the African slave trade in Illinois schools.

An avid naturalist who shares history through her projects, Williams planted native gardens to attract migrating birds as she developed the Earl and Beverly Johnson Bird Oasis at the Pullman State Historic Site; and created an African heritage garden and migratory bird oasis at the Stephen Douglas Tomb Site in Bronzeville.

In a 2019 interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Williams said, “Both birds and humans come (to Chicago) for the same thing – a home, a place to raise their families, a place of safety, a place of refuge.”

The virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Intercultural Lecture will begin at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Admission is free but registration is required, by visiting An access link to the virtual event will be provided closer to the event date. For questions, call (630) 617-5186 to leave a message, or email

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