1960s - Cincinnati

Civil Rights Movement,
Black Power and Motown Music
"And by some of the girls of my age, who were fair or light skinned, I was called 'you ole black thang with nappy hair and big lips!' This is the one that hurt me the most. It stayed with me for many years, even more than the ‘sissy’, ‘punk’ names. It wasn’t until the mid-60's, when the 'Black is beautiful' theme became the word of the Black community that I was able to really see my own beauty in my blackness."
                                         (Reggie Williams, 1996)

Music always played an important role in Reggie's life.

He loved to dance!

Reggie with his sisters Connie and Denise




Aretha Franklin "Respect" (1967)


..."One night me and my little group, Odell and Michael, were out on a Friday night just walking around downtown, looking for something to do, something to get into. It was raining and all three of us had on rain trench coats. We had the belts tightly wrapped around our waist as to highlight our asses. We were downtown just walking and talking and acting silly, like the young sissies that we were. And just as we were passing a store window we could see that a very attractive man was standing there. As we started to walk past him he said “what are you three fine thangs doing out here all by yourselves?” We were all so taken and nervously replied "nothing" He said "well why don't you come and walk around the corner here with me". Of course we all said "O.K.". As we walk with him to the corner he said his name was Ted. So we followed Ted around the corner to where the Greyhound Bus station was, and crossed the street. There was this little bar, a real hole in the wall, and very nondescript on the outside. It was named the 223, which was the address. And so the three of us followed Ted through the front door, and as we entered we stepped into a whole new world. It was like Oz! Inside there were all men, men of all colors, ages, shapes and sizes. Some were dressed as women, some as men with full face make-up, which we learned was called ‘power puff drag‘. There were some that looked like truck drivers and some looked like just your average guy."...(Reggie Williams, 1996)

Reggie graduated from Withrow High School in 1969.


Reggie studied X-Ray Technology at Cincinnati's General Hospital Hospital (now University of Cincinnati Medical Center)and received a degree as X-Ray Technologist in 1971.

November 1960 - John F. Kennedy is elected as 35th president of the United States.
President John F. Kennedy Making Frederick Douglas Home a Monument:
At a White House ceremony, President John F. Kennedy signed a bill making the Washington home of Negro leader and abolitionist Frederick Douglass a part of the National Capital Park System and a National Monument. Here during the ceremony are (left to right) Senator Philip Hart (D-Michigan); House Speaker John McCormack; Mrs. Rosa L. Gragg, President, National Association of Colored Women's Clubs; Representative Charles C. Diggs (D-Michigan); Mrs. Mary E.C. Gregory, Chairman, Douglass Trustee Board; and Dr. Joseph Douglass, grandson of Frederick Douglass. September 5, 1962


Bayard Rustin (left)

1963 - August. March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. MLK delivers his

"I Have A Dream" Speech.

Martin Luther King Jr - I Have a Dream

                                       Text [PDF from Stanford's Papers Project], 4 pages


Photo Gallery of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement (Seattle Times

1963 - November. President John F. Kennedy is shot in Dallas, Texas.

February 1965 - Malcolm X shot to death at Harlem Rally in New York City




Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was an openly gay man in the Civil Rights Movement. His life has been featured in the documentary 'Brother Outsider'.



Brother Outsider - The Life Of Bayard Rustin

1968 - April 4. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1969 - June 21. Stonewall at Christopher Street, New York. The Stonewall was a gay bar which was raided by police without apparent reason. For the first time Gays resisted and the Stonewall Riots began. Since then Gay Pride Parades or "Christopher Street Days (CSD)" are organized worldwide, often at the last weekend in June. The first march took place in New York in 1970.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Logo

A Project of the American Anthropological Association
5/30/2009 through 9/7/2009
Franklin Institute
Philadelphia, PA 
Tour Schedule