Gerald Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1941. Earning his Masters of Fine Arts degree from Howard in 1976, he became a founding member of AfriCOBRA. His work as a visual artist has greatly influenced the Black Arts Movement. He has been featured in exhibitions all over the world and has also served in the Peace Corps, taught public school., and served as an Arts and Crafts Center Director for the United States Air Force. In 2015, he moved back to Woodlawn, Chicago, where he currently lives and works.