Columbia, divided: A history of surviving, thriving through segregation

Sehon Williams, 97, speaks at the segregation lecture series Tuesday at the State Historical Society. Williams is a lifelong Columbia resident and has witnessed significant urban renewal and discrimination based on race. Photo courtesy Lia Waldrum/Missourian.

Columbia Missourian–Sehon Williams spent his childhood on the near north side of Columbia, running back and forth between unlocked homes where parents helped raise each other’s kids.

The kids played games on the neighborhood streets, walked to school every day and hung out at the local black churches.

“There was a camaraderie that has been lost,” said Williams, 97, a World War II veteran and former postal clerk in Columbia.

He shared stories about...

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