Black History Month spotlight: Frances Barrier Williams


Creative Commons

Frances Barrier Williams was an influential figure in the fight for equal rights among black women.

This article is the fourth in a five part article series that will feature famous historical black figures for the month of February. This week’s feature will deal with Frances Barrier Williams, an advocate for social equality among African American women.

Frances Barrier Williams, also known as Fannie, was born Feb. 12, 1855 in Brockport, NY. She fought for social equality in the intellectual progression of colored women. Williams went to a public school all of her life and her grades proved to be enough for her to continue her education in college. Williams went to college at the State University of New York at Brockport (SUNY Brockport) where she began her journey as an advocate for the civil rights of women.

Williams has become a great influencer for young women as well as women in general. She has gone to great lengths to shine light on how African American women need to be educated just like anybody else. She was a part of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club (NACWC). The organization has grown over the years and launched a scholarship fund for college bound African American Women. 

Williams taught and educated African-American women for over two decades. Williams’ died on March 4, 1944; however, her legacy still remains in the form of her most famous quote about love and justice: “I dare not cease to hope and aspire and believe in human love and justice…”