NYC Honorary Street Names
Bishop Dr. Ezra Nehemiah Williams Way (Manhattan)
Present name:East 120th Street
Location:Between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue
Honoree: Bishop Dr. Ezra Nehemiah Williams (1929-2009) was Senior Pastor of Bethel Gospel Assembly from February 1966 until February 2000. During his tenure as Senior Pastor he established Urban and Global Mission Alliance, Inc. in 1998. He was former National President and Presiding Bishop of the United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God (UPCAG). (Dickens)
Cathay Williams Blvd. (Queens)
Location:On the northwest and southwest corners of Tuskegee Airmen Way and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard
Honoree: Cathay Williams (1844?-1892) was the first African-American woman to enlist, and the only woman known to have served in the U.S. Army posing as a man. Born in Missouri, she was a house slave for a wealthy planter until his death. During the Civil War she was freed by Union soldiers and soon went to work for the Army as a paid servant. On November 15, 1866, she enlisted as a cook, using the name William Cathay. An Army surgeon examined her, apparently not very thoroughly, and found her fit for duty. She was assigned to the 38th Infantry, one of the Buffalo Soldier regiments. Traveling throughout the west with her unit took a toll on her health. She was hospitalized five times, yet it was never discovered that she was female. In her two years in the Army she participated in regular garrison duties but there is no record that she ever saw direct combat. She was seemingly not well regarded by her commanding officer, but when her sex was finally discovered, she was granted an honorable discharge. (Wills)
Detective Keith L. Williams Way (Queens)
Location:At the northeast corner of 172nd Street and Liberty Avenue
Honoree: Detective Keith L. Williams was assigned to the Queens District Attorney’s Squad for eight years. He was killed in the line of duty on November 13, 1989, while returning a prisoner to Riker’s Island. (Miller)
Dr. Carolyn G. Williams Way (Bronx)
Location:At the intersection of Hall of Fame Terrace and University Avenue
Honoree: Dr. Carolyn G. Williams (1939-2021) was the fourth president of Bronx Community College and the first woman to hold the office. In her 15 years in that office, she was the guiding force behind $150 million in capital construction. During her tenure the student body growing to over 10,000, and BCC's diverse faculty increasing by more than 90 full-time educators. At the national level, Dr. Williams was active in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and was its Chairperson in 2000. She also was active in the National Council on Black American Affairs (NCBAA), a council of the AACC, where her work involved the development and mentoring of African-American future leaders. In her honor, the Carolyn Grubbs Williams Leadership Development Institute was established to prepare African-Americans in community colleges for leadership roles. (Cabrera)
Emma Lee Williams Court (Brooklyn)
Present name:Montauk Avenue
Location:Between New Lots and Hegeman Avenues
Honoree: Emma Lee Williams (1933-2005) dedicated her life to helping children find their true potential through organizations and community involvement. She organized peaceful block parties and bus trips for senior citizens and youths every year, in hopes of bringing the neighborhood together.
Lieutenant Thomas A Williams Place (Queens)
Location:The south side of Queens Boulevard between 64th and 65th Streets.
Honoree: Lt. Williams joined the NYFD an 1962 and served initially in Brooklyn. In 1977 he was promoted to Lieutenant in 1977 and assigned to the 46th Battalion in Queens. In 1982 he joined Queens' elite Rescue Company 4. In February 1992, Lt. William suffered serious head injury while searching fro victims of a three-aarm fire set by arsonists in a building on Grand Street in Maspeth. He died of his injuries on Feb 24, 1992, just over 30 years after joining the department and a few days before his 53rd birthday.
Pat Williams Playground (Queens)
Location:Hempstead Avenue, 224th Street and the Cross Island Parkway Service Road
Honoree: Pat Williams (1936-1990) and her husband, a retired Air Force man, settled in New York in 1974. She was a leading member of Concerned Citizens for a Safe Queens Village.
R. Lonnie Williams Place (Manhattan)
Present name:East 104th Street
Location:Between Fifth and Madison Avenues
Honoree: Richard Lonnie Williams began his career with Boys Harbor, Inc. as a young counselor in 1954. In 1964 he became an official of the U.S Labor Department, directing a youth employment program, and was later district director of the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity. In 1969 he became Executive Director of Boys Harbor and with its founder, Anthony D. Duke, helped build it into an organization with a staff of 200 serving some 4,000 boys and girls annually. He died in 1995 at age 60..
Robert “Mr. Lou” Williams Way (Brooklyn)
Present name:West 33rd Street
Location:Between Surf Avenue and Mermaid Avenue
Honoree: Robert “Mr. Lou” Williams (1943-2007) was served as a mentor, teacher and friend to the youth of Coney Island for over 40 years.. He has had a direct impact on the lives of basketball greats Quincy Douby, Jamel Thomas and Stephon Marbury, whom he coached and mentored.
Robert A. Williams Way (Bronx)
Location:At the intersection of East 149th Street and Third Avenue
Honoree: Robert Anthony Williams (d. 2018), known to friends as ‘Bob,’ was captain of the NYU basketball team and was one of the very first Americans to play professional basketball in Europe. He returned to the U.S. in 1967, where he continued to play and coach in the famed Rucker League. He also became NYU’s first African-American assistant varsity basketball coach. He founded the Bronx-based Sport Foundation, Inc., in 1969, serving as its CEO until his retirement in 2003. Based in the South Bronx, the Sports Foundation encouraged positive youth development using sports and education as a vehicle. (Salamanca, Jr.)
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