Tina Jones Williams
"Tina has been a member of the Santa Clara Branch since 2017 and has been an avid contributor to our zoom meetings and author spotlights. Her accomplishments are many but for Her accomplishments are many but for myself, I would say her upbeat personality and story telling techniques of her readings, and as an author are priceless. Tina shares anecdotes, folklore, and history about times, places, and people she feels should not be forgotten and the reader is instantly engaged as they find themselves in the day to day routine of the people's lives she shares."
Award-winning author, Tina Jones Williams, A Reasonable Woman, has written eight books which pay homage to the rich traditions in the African American community. Born and raised in the all-black neighborhood on Julia Street in South Berkeley, Tina attended neighborhood schools until seventh grade when she was bussed out of her area to become a member of the first desegregated junior high school in Berkeley. Tina attended Berkeley High, the only public high school in town.
Since publishing her Julia Street Series, Tina has led bi-annual neighborhood walks which begin and end on Julia Street where the four books are set. During the walks, Tina shares anecdotes, folklore, and history about times, places, and people she feels should not be forgotten. As a result of her books and neighborhood walks, Tina is pictured on a South Berkeley mural reflecting the city's history. Julia Street is also depicted on the mural and is listed among ten streets considered the "heart of South Berkeley."
"As most of you know (cause I told nearly everybody!). I have been included on a mural depicting the history of South Berkeley from the Ohlone Indians through today. Also Julia Street, where I grew up and four of my books are set, is depicted as one of ten streets deemed "the Heart of South Berkeley." Many are featured on the mural, my likeness is between Betty Reid Soskin, author, owner of Reid's Records on Sacramento Street for 75 years until it closed in 2018, who at 99 years old is the nation's oldest working park ranger, and a medal of honor recipient bestowed by President Obama, Jesse Arreguin, Mayor of Berkeley, and Belva Davis, South Berkeley native and eight Emmy Award winning journalist.
Yesterday I received an email letting me know a plaque with my name and quote had been added to the mosaic at the base of the mural .They included pictures. I have attached them. The mural is at 1801 Ashby Avenue near Adeline, a main thoroughfare linking the once red-lined South Berkeley and the Berkeley Hills.
It is an honor to be included and I am thrilled. It is also poignant. The mural sits is on the bus route my grandmother took twice a day to get to and from her job as a domestic day worker in the Berkeley Hills. The bus only ran twice a day, once in the early morning to get the workers to their jobs in time to start their employers' day and late in the evening after their day was done. "Because she was, I am."
Life is full of wonder and surprises. Thank you for sharing mine."
Tina Jones Williams - A Reasonable Woman
Check out Tina's amazing books at:
All's Well That Ends, Sara's Song, Dance or Get Out, Perfect Pitch Julia St. Series
For Their Convenience , On Closer Inspection, A Delicate Balance Bridge to Freedom Series
Some Things I Want You to Know
Also available in Berkeley, Livermore, San Jose Public Libraries