Damian Williams Is the First Black U.S. Attorney to Lead the Southern District of New York in Its 232-Year History


Explore Our Galleries

A man stands in front of the Djingareyber mosque on February 4, 2016 in Timbuktu, central Mali. 
Mali's fabled city of Timbuktu on February 4 celebrated the recovery of its historic mausoleums, destroyed during an Islamist takeover of northern Mali in 2012 and rebuilt thanks to UN cultural agency UNESCO.
African Peoples Before Captivity
Shackles from Slave Ship Henrietta Marie
Kidnapped: The Middle Passage
Enslaved family picking cotton
Nearly Three Centuries Of Enslavement
1st Black Men Elected to Congress
Reconstruction: A Brief Glimpse of Freedom
The Lynching of Laura Nelson_May_1911 200x200
One Hundred Years of Jim Crow
Civil Rights protest in Alabama
I Am Somebody! The Struggle for Justice
Black Lives Matter movement
NOW: Free At Last?
#15-Beitler photo best TF reduced size
Memorial to the Victims of Lynching
hands raised black background
The Freedom-Lovers’ Roll Call Wall
Frozen custard in Milwaukee's Bronzeville
Special Exhibits

Breaking News!

Today's news and culture by Black and other reporters in the Black and mainstream media.

Ways to Support ABHM?

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root

Williams will oversee several high-profile cases, including an investigation of former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Jeffrey Epstein friend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Damien Williams was confirmed by the U.S. Senate this week to be the next United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, the first Black person to lead the office in its 232-year history. The position makes him the most powerful federal law enforcement official in Manhattan at the age of 41 years old, according to the New York Times.

Here is a little background on Williams’ time at Yale Law School, per the Times:

Mr. Williams also took a keen interest in voting and civil rights, said Heather Gerken, a professor who is now Yale Law School’s dean. She said he turned in one paper on the 15th Amendment, which bars discrimination in voting on account of race, that was so insightful it caused her to revise her class notes and rethink how she taught the topic.

He also published a meticulously researched and reasoned paper in the influential Yale Law Journal. It examined the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina in displacing Black voters in New Orleans, and it offered an ingenious proposal for how the Justice Department could use a provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to protect them from disenfranchisement.

Williams joined the Southern District office in February 2012, after some time in private practice to become a prosecutor. From there, he trajectory advanced very quickly to his current position.

Read the full article here.

Read about other brilliant Black attorneys appointed as “firsts” to very high-level positions here and here.

More Breaking News here.

Comments Are Welcome

Note: We moderate submissions in order to create a space for meaningful dialogue, a space where museum visitors – adults and youth –– can exchange informed, thoughtful, and relevant comments that add value to our exhibits.

Racial slurs, personal attacks, obscenity, profanity, and SHOUTING do not meet the above standard. Such comments are posted in the exhibit Hateful Speech. Commercial promotions, impersonations, and incoherent comments likewise fail to meet our goals, so will not be posted. Submissions longer than 120 words will be shortened.

See our full Comments Policy here.

Leave a Comment