Christine Williams was born, sixth out of eight children, to a very modest family in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1960. When she was in the first grade, Williams was among the first to be integrated into a White school, where instead of learning, she was expected to wash the classroom windows, take out the trash, mop the floor, and dust. When Williams entered the first grade, her race was used against her due to an all-White school and integration. After many humiliations in the classroom, Williams finally gave up on school when she was fifteen.
While school was bad, life was no better at home. There, her days were fraught with dysfunction and tension. To cope, Williams often went out to the back porch, sat on the steps, and talked to God.
Christine Williams has been a lifelong trailblazer against racial injustice. She played an important role while employed by Shoney's Inc. This included efforts both before the 1989 company-wide race discrimination lawsuit but also in the successful implementation of the settlement of that lawsuit after she became one of the first mid-level African Americans ever employed by Shoney's. Her efforts helped countless African Americans who came behind her gain better jobs with better work conditions and more opportunities for advancement at Shoney's.
--Tommy Warren, Class Counsel, Haynes versus Shoney's Inc.
I have known Christine Williams for many years and have always been impressed by her high moral character, integrity, dedication, and the loyalty she has shown to worthwhile causes in the community. She works tirelessly to help those who do not have a voice and need protection. I am happy to stand up to endorse Christine in anything she does because I have so much confidence in her.
--Brenda Gilmore, Senator, District #19, Tennessee