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Transcript and audio of oral history interview, Charleston, S.C., 2009 November 5
Interviewed by Kerry Taylor, Graduate Assistant, The Citadel History Department.
Transcript 62 p., 1 CD 1:21:53.
Adrian Williams (1970) was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She was among the first female sanitation workers with the City of Charleston. In this interview, Williams recalls her early days growing up in Charleston and Johns Island and asserts that being a sexual abuse survivor made her a strong person who fights for her rights and who understands the sufferings of others. When asked about her source of strength, she affirms that becoming a mother when she was a teenager made her resolute about building a better life for herself and her child. She is particularly grateful for three women that provided support and inspired her: her aunt, her psychotherapist, and an English teacher. After a life crisis, Williams started working as a bus driver with the City of Charleston and later she moved to the sanitation department. She liked it at first. However, soon she discovered the problems that plagued her job which included abusive managers, sexism and sexual harassment, as well as, safety hazards related to the lack of appropriate training and equipment. Williams talks about her experiences as a union organizer, the barriers to engage more workers in the process, and the development of more effective strategies to negotiate with the authorities. This interview brings light to the efforts of the Local 1199C to be recognized by the City of Charleston in 2009.


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