I was unable to attend Gregory Williams’ talk on October 1 but after reading the article about his speech in the Evansville Courier Press I have some insight into what his speech was about and the discussion of his book Life on the Color Line. Gregory Williams was faced with harsh racism while growing up in Muncie, Indiana but he realized that in order to be successful, he must overcome the prejudices that faced him and independently achieve his own success. He knew he would not receive help in his journey to succeed in life; he must achieve it on his own. Despite all odds Greg Williams overcame the racism and discrimination that faced him in Muncie and found success in life by becoming a law professor, an author, and the newly elected president of the University of Cincinnati.
In his talk, Williams addressed the issue of racism in the United States. He noted that although a black president runs our country, racism has not been eliminated from our society. It is still present in many cities and controls the judgments of many citizens. I believe this is true. I would like to hope that people can learn to put their prejudices behind them, but I know this idealistic society does not yet exist. The Black population still struggles with dealing with these prejudices from their white neighbors. I hope one day I will live in a country where racism is not present and people of all races and nationalities can live in harmony.
Another point Williams made was to say that: “Because adversity is a constant in the lives of humans, how one responds to it makes all the difference.” Williams challenged his audience to help others get through times of adversity, to make a difference in their lives, even when it is not the easy thing to do. By doing so will help everyone to live better lives and for the betterment of our society. Williams truly believed that, as citizens, we should all band together to support each other and help our fellow citizens succeed in life. Williams was able to overcome prejudices and succeed in life, achieving something few black men were able to do at that point in our country’s history.