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Lawmaker receives national award
Al Williams
State Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) joined an esteemed group of honorees with his recent selection as a 2008 Trumpet Award recipient.
Presented by the Trumpet Awards Foundation, Inc., the annual award acknowledges the accomplishments of African-American men and women “who have significantly contributed to enhancing the quality of life for all ... (and) augment the richness of this great global society by partnering with the cause of justice and equality of all.”
And in a political career spanning more than four decades, Williams has not only been a champion of equal rights for all Georgia citizens, but a trailblazer for African-Americans in state politics.
The grandson of the late Rev. W. C. Shipman, the first black registered voter and first member of the NAACP in Liberty County, Williams became involved in politics at an early age. He helped organize the Young Democrats of Georgia and served as its first black National Committeeman.
After working as a political advisor and session aide to former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller and the late state Sen. Glenn Bryant, he became the first African-American from Liberty County to be elected state representative since Reconstruction in 2002. He is only the second African-American to hold a legislative seat from the tri-county area of Liberty, Glynn and McIntosh counties.
In December 2006, he was elected to serve as the chairman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, the largest state organization of African-American legislators in the United States.
According to Williams, it is this list of accomplishments rather than one particular action or event that made him deserving of the Trumpet Award honor.
“I’ve been involved (in politics) for over 40 years,” he said. “I don’t think it was any particular thing, but a culmination of several things.”
He added the internationally recognized award made him “very humbled, very excited and very appreciative.”
“I am quite humbled. In all of my thoughts, I thank God and I am indebted to my pastor, church and supporters who allow me to serve them,” Williams said. “Most of all my preparation from my mother, father, grandmother and my aunt had a profound effect on my life and the direction my life took. There are so many people I owe so much to, I can’t begin to thank them.”
Williams will receive his award during the 16th annual Trumpet Awards Ceremony scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 13 in Atlanta.
For more information about the Trumpet Awards or to view a complete list of this year’s recipients, visit

Other 2008 Trumpet Award honorees
* Halle Berry, actress
* Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, rapper/actor
* Danny Glover, actor/humanitarian
* Sheila C. Johnson, entrepreneur
* Commissioner Michael Thurmond, Georgia Department of Labor
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