Najya Williams: Afro-Caribbean Harvard Student Making Black History Loudly and Without Pause

Najya Williams

Najya Williams images by Ashley Harriott, Class of 2020 at Harvard College

Najya Williams: “Black History is made everywhere, everyday”…

Black History has often been reduced to the works of Harriet’s Tubman, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, as well as other notable figures. While their works are among the most significant, society has reduced the diversity of our history to a handful of people who were able to grab the attention of a nation.

Black History is made everywhere and everyday by people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. With so many small victories that have set the stage for the bigger ones, it is my desire to elevate the voices of the silent history makers, including that of my own.

This year, I am vowing to make Black History loudly and without pause.

With my debut poetry chapbook, Cotton, a look at my experience as an Afro-Caribbean woman living in today’s society, still fresh from its 2017 release, I aim to bring my work into local Boston schools as an example of how Black History is preserved by Black literary authors, female identifying and otherwise.

Najya Williams

Black Womanist Agenda

As I embark on more professional endeavors, I will continue to promote my Black womanist agenda and encourage other women of color to live in their truth unapologetically. 2018 is my year to let the world know that Black women have salted and continue to salt this society’s endeavors.

By the end of this year, I hope to have completed my second collection of poetry and enter into the pre-launch stage of my nonprofit organization that will center around amplifying the Black female voice.

My activism has seeped from my pores since the age of 12, and with my 21st birthday coming in 2019, I know that my passion for social change will only sharpen, expand and inspire.

With the work of my future nonprofit organization, poetry collections and public speaking, I aspire to change lives, cultivate societal growth and advance Black History, one moment at a time.

Najya Williams

Profile of Najya Williams:

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Najya Williams is an undergraduate student at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became an alumna of School Without Walls High School and The George Washington University via the GW Early College Program at 18.

She is a youth advocate and social activist. Najya has committed to participating in numerous poetry and spoken word driven events to shed light on issues present in her community that many consider taboo.

Najya Williams was recently recognized by The Harvard Foundation and The Black Men’s Forum for the work she has cultivated and continues to maintain within the Black community on Harvard’s campus. With several academic and creative publications under her belt, she aims to pursue a future career in Pediatric and Neonatal Medicine and activism. 

Visit her at

Najya Williams

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