Black History Month Spotlight: Gordon Williams


In honor of Black History Month, Lamar University will celebrate with a series of events organized and sponsored by a variety of organizations, departments, clubs and student organizations that highlight and pay tribute to the achievements of African Americans and important events that contributed to U.S. history.

In addition to university events, LU also chose to celebrate Black excellence by spotlighting several Black LU students, faculty and staff and the many reasons why they feel this month is important.

This Black History Month, Gordon Williams, LUTV studio operations manager, shares his advices for the generations of Black students coming after him.


First/last name: Gordon S. Williams
Current Title: TV Studio Operations Manager
Department: Communication and Media
Why does it feel important to celebrate Black History Month?
“Black History” is history. Individuals should have an awareness of history and celebrate history the entire year. There is a greater focus on the trailblazers of African American descent and their contributions that happens in the month of February. When you place “Black History” in the context of a scorching summer day in Southeast Texas, you appreciate and celebrate Fredrick Jones’ invention of air conditioning. The contributions of African Americans have enriched all aspects of life and it should not be ignored or forgotten.

What motivates you to be successful?
When you are gifted the spirit of being your ancestors’ wildest dreams and think about your lineage, your family, the goal is to be more expansive than the previous generation. My parents instilled discipline, a work ethic, determination and modeled those characteristics. Who am I not to build on that foundation. As I mature, it is more apparent to me that I am becoming an ancestor, I hope my legacy is to help those I encounter be more expansive and successful in their pursuits.

How long have you been in the film industry and what are you most proud of as a Black individual in your career field?
The first short film that I created was in 1999. It is difficult for me to select what I am most proud of as a content creator in this field. No matter how people may feel about it, I have created a body of work, from television to documentaries, short films to Latin Dance. Thankfully, I can go to my YouTube page, view and reminisce about the people that look like me that learned, or were inspired, by having the opportunity to work together. Thankfully, I can see the diverse group of talented individuals of all backgrounds who came together with the common goal of uniting and being creative.
How does Black history influence your professional or personal life?
With the difficulties I still face today, dealing with generalizations, stereotypes and tropes, they are far less than what my parents, grandparents and ancestors encountered in the past. Honestly, at times, it causes me to question my strength in the face of adversity. My ancestors had less but they were always dressed sharp. I saw people who excelled in education, entertainment and industry. I am motivated professionally and personally because I am standing on their shoulders.
What advice do you have for the generations of Black students coming after you?
I would never admit to getting it all “right,” knowing it all, or doing it all “right.” I don’t at all. I strongly feel the best ability is availability. Because of my ethnicity and gender, it is important for me to be in this space, to be present in this space. I saw individuals like Dr. Vernice Monroe, Dr. Freddie Titus and Dr. Oney Fitzpatrick persevere and excel at Lamar University. They taught me to strive for excellence. I saw a path to success was possible because of their presence. If just a small amount of what they share with me exists inside of me, it is to be engaged, be present and be available.

Did you learn anything new about history in the Black community this year? (This could be personal or broader in a historical sense)
As I mature, I am more fascinated with the strength, endurance, spirit, soul and creativity of my predecessors. I am in awe of how their influence has permeated the culture and communities across the globe. I am looking forward to learning more and I will forever be a student.