by Arman Deganian
President, DeKalb Bar Association
As I’m sure many of us do, I often find myself driving along Hosea L. Williams Drive paying no mind to the man for whom it is named, but I can’t help but wonder what distinction earns someone a green placard bearing his name on every block of a well-known stretch of road?
Perhaps it starts with humble beginnings, or rather the drive to seek growth despite arid ground. Hosea Lorenzo Williams was born the son of two blind teens on January 5, 1926 in Decatur County. He never met his father, and his mother died when he was only ten years old. An unremarkable childhood (apart from a near lynching in response to an alleged relationship with a white girl) turned a corner when he joined the army to serve in WWII in an all-black unit under General Patton. The war earned him a Purple Heart and a lifelong limp.