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Learotha Williams Jr., PhD


Learotha Williams, Jr.,is a scholar of African American, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Public History at Tennessee State University.  Williams has worked as a Historic Sites Specialist for the State of Florida, acted as coordinator for the African American Studies Program at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and served as trustee of the Historic Savannah Foundation in Savannah, Georgia. He also spearheads the North Nashville Heritage Project, an effort that seeks to encourage a greater understanding of the history of North Nashville, including but not limited to Jefferson Street and its historic relationship to the greater Nashville community.


320 Crouch Hall, (615) 963-5513,  lwilli22@tnstate.edu


PhD, African American History, Post-Civil War America, Florida State University

MA, History/African American Studies, Florida State University

BA, History/African American Studies, Florida State University

Courses Taught

African American History, Introduction to Public History, Black Nashville in History and Public Memory, The African American Experience in the United States, Civil War and Reconstruction

Research Interests

African Americans in Public Memory, Black Politicians, Civil Rights, 20th Century Black Intellectuals, African Americans in Tennessee, Slavery and Emancipation in Middle Tennessee

Selected Publications

Thurber Amie, and Williams, Learotha, I'll Take You There:  Exploring Nashville's Social Justice Sites. Nashville:  Vanderbilt University Press, 2020.

"'I Have Both Taken and Given Some Hard Blows': Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs's Transformation from a Presbyterian Abolitionist to Southern Politician,1866-72" Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 24, No. 2 (2017).

"'Using the Weapons With Which We Are Skilled': George W. Gore, Jr., and Student Protest at Florida A&M University, 1950–68."  Journal of HBCU Research and Culture 1 (2015).

"'Leave the Pulpit and Go into the School Room':  The Board of Missions to Freedmen in South Carolina, 1866-67." Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 8 (Spring/Summer 2006): 89-101.