Dr. Claude Williams did not have the luxury of simply being a top-notch dentist.
From the U.S. Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Md., where Williams integrated the Navy Dental Corps, to studying at Howard University, one of the most prestigious black institutions of higher learning in the world, Williams was a disciplined, straight-A student, eager to map out his next career move.
As a newly trained dentist, Williams could have chosen to go anywhere in America and establish a practice. But his heart was still back home in Texas, where he dreamed of having an impact on general dentistry and on the people he loved most.
By 1965, Williams and his wife, Helen, had three children and a new ranch home they had designed in Marshall, not far from Jefferson, where he grew up. The doctor’s thriving practice was soon legendary as word spread that black folks had someone who would not only take care of their dental hygiene, but do it with intelligence, professionalism, respect and integrity.
Life was good.
But Texas was going to need more from Claude Williams…