Building a Place for History
Noelle Lorraine Williams joined the staff of the New Jersey Historical Commission in 2021 and directs the African American History Program. Her work as a historian, curator and artist spans almost two decades. Williams is committed to amplifying public conversations around the historical and contemporary meaning of what it means to be American. Her career began with positions and committee work on several public humanities, public history and art, and social justice initiatives and exhibitions including My Newark Story, At Home In Newark: Stories from the Queer Newark Oral History Project and the Four Corners Public Art Initiative.The exhibition she curated and researched Radical Women: Fighting for Power and the Vote in New Jersey! was awarded the Giles Wright Award for contributions to New Jersey history in 2019 and she was awarded the New Jersey Arts Council Fellowship, Individual Artist Fellowship Awards in 2021. Her current project Black Power! 19th Century is a multimedia project that illuminates the work of nineteenth and early twentieth-century African American activists in New Jersey.
Photo by Colleen Gutwein O’Neal.