Youngstown woman, 109, honored as part of African-American observance

Staff report


A world of changes have passed before the eyes of Valentina Williams.

She's lived through two world wars, seen the development of the automobile industry and the space program. She's seen world leaders rise and fall, and she's lived through the administrations of nearly 20 U.S. presidents.

Williams, a mother of six, will turn 110 years old on Aug. 26, and is believed to be the oldest living resident of Youngstown. She was one of nine people honored Sunday during a ceremony at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society's Tyler Historical Center downtown.

Like Williams, some are thought to be among the oldest living black Mahoning Valley natives, honored for their longevity and their contributions to making life better for generations that followed. Others were leaders in the business and civic communities.

The event was hosted by the Mahoning Valley Commemoration Committee, and was part of a national commemoration of the first African slaves being brought to Virginia in 1619.

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