Bravo Insider Exclusive!

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up for Free to View
The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Porsha Williams Reflects on Her Civil Rights Activist Grandfather Protesting at Selma: "It Was Bloody" (UPDATED)

The RHOA mom is the granddaughter of activist and politician Hosea Williams.

By Jocelyn Vena
Porsha Williams on How Selma is Similar to Today

UPDATE (June 10,  9:17 a.m.): Porsha also discussed her grandfather, Rev. Hosea Williams, during the June 9 episode of WWHL, sharing how he would have reacted to her sharing her life on RHOA.

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta on Peacock and the Bravo App.

She said: "Oh, he would love it. Nobody knows this, I've never had the chance to say this. Nobody's ever asked, but he used to call me his peach. so it's just crazy that I'm holding a peach on Housewives. But, my grandfather in the Movement, he was called the bull in the china cabinet. He was the lieutenant in front. He was the one who would rally everybody together. and get everybody enraged and passionate about the cause. So, me being how I am is exactly how he was. He was just as outspoken and passionate as me."

Porsha sat down with comedian and activist W. Kamau Bell for special two-part episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen moderated by Andy Cohen.

You can check out more from Porsha speaking about her grandfather in the clip above.

The original story continues below.

When Porsha Williams appeared on the Instagram Live panel, Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being Black in America in support of the Black Lives Matter movement on June 8, it wasn't just her work as a social activist and protester that was discussed, but also how it is an extension of the work her grandfather, Rev. Hosea Williams, began last century as a pioneer in the Civil Rights movement.

Porsha has been out with protesters to effect change in the world and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement following George Floyd's death. And she opened up about following in her grandfather's footsteps, though she noted that it wasn't until she saw that video of George Floyd that something awakened in her and also reiterated how important family is.

"Well, the feeling that I have right now, I don't know if I knew I was going to want to be this active. I think when everyone watched George Floyd be murdered, it hit us different," she said.

Porsha also weighed in on how her grandfather would react to the support the Black Lives Matter movement has received from people from all races and walks of life today.

"I think he would be saddened that the work that he had done and the work that [Martin Luther] King [Jr.] and John Lewis, the work that they had done, we're basically close to be in that [same position]," she said. "It's not a race. This is a marathon. This is going to take some dedication... So I do think that he would be happy that we're coming together visually to see that but I do believe he would want us to take that mission just as serious as they did and the way they dedicated their life to it, I would think he would want us to do the same thing no matter what race you are."

You can hear more from Porsha in conversation with moderator Justin Sylvester, the host of E!’s Daily Pop!, below.

Porsha's grandfather Hosea Williams worked for the NAACP and fought tirelessly to end segregation and for Black citizens to gain voting rights. His work earned him a role working alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Williams and fellow Civil Rights activist John Lewis were leaders in organizing the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965 along with King. Williams and Lewis were there on  “Bloody Sunday”  when state troopers and local law enforcement beat protesters.

Three years later, Williams was there when King was assassinated at Lorraine Motel April 4 1968 in Memphis. His experience working with King earned him the role of executive director of SCLC following King's death.

Later on, he worked in politics. In 1974 he was elected as a Democratic senator to the Georgia state senate. He served until 1985 and that same year, he was elected to Atlanta City Council, serving for five years. In 1989 he was elected to DeKalb County Commission, where he served until 1994.

He also launched the Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless organization in 1971, which Porsha often posts about on social media. He passed away in 2000, leaving behind the legacy that Porsha is building on with her work today.

Porsha reflected more on her grandfather's legacy during Monday's panel.

"Listen, what is happening now is by design. All of this is happening because this is another opportunity for real change. Just like when my grandfather, with Selma, when they were on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and they were walking into a restricted area. They had been told not to walk into that area, not to protest there. Period. When they got to the end of that bridge, it was a slaughter. It was bloody," she said. 

She noted that the use of social media today to shine a light on racial prejudice is the same way white Americans watched that historical event and those prejudices unfold on the news during the Civil Rights movement.

To also hear from The Real Housewives of Potomac's Gizelle Bryant and The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Kandi Burruss who appeared on the Instagram Live panel, Amplify Our Voices: An Open Dialogue on Being Black in America, check out the video below.

For the latest reporting on the George Floyd protests from NBC News and MSNBC’s worldwide team of correspondents, including a live blog with minute-to-minute updates, visit and NBCBLK.


Want the latest Bravo updates? Text us for breaking news and more!