- In 1949, Leila Williams opened an eatery called ‘Leila Dinette’
- The diner became popular and served as a venue for the Black community in Atlanta
- Williams' eatery served prominent personalities including Dr Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond and US Congressman, John Lewis
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At 107, owner of Atanta’s historic ‘Leila Dinette’, Leila Williams has lived many monumental periods including World War II, assassinations and notable elections.
Williams and her late husband Charlie opened ''Leila’s Dinette" in the late 1940s.
Becauseofthemwecan.com writes that, for over 40 years, people from all over, flocked to Southwest Atlanta to taste her good food but more importantly, to be in the good community.
At a time when segregation was still rife and there were not many places people could go, Leila created a space where Blacks could be served with dignity.
The dinette was also a place where civil rights leaders came to ''strategize and spend quality time,'' Charlotte Webb, Leila Williams god-daughter is quoted to have told NBC News.
Leila Williams' eatery hosted the Black community with renowned names such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Julian Bond, Congressman John Lewis, and a host of other movement leaders visiting the place.
The diner closed in the early 1990s, staying vacant over a decade before being bought and renovated by Keitra Bates.
It has now been transformed into a shared kitchen called Marddy’s, where chefs of colour can come to make their food to sell to their customers.
While the dinette was known for its amazing food, people remember Williams for her caring nature and generosity.
Williams celebrated her 107th birthday among family and friends at the Glenwood Health & Rehab Center in Decatur, Georgia. She received more than 10,000 birthday wishes and cards.
In other stories, of a story about Olivia Agbenyeke, a young resilient high school graduate, who just six years ago, was stuck in one of Ghana’s worst slums, Agbogbloshie, serving as a bartender in her father's drinking joint despite attaining remarkable scores in Science.
Olivia Agbenyeke obtained 7As and one B2 after completing Keta Senior High Technical School as a Science student but had been faced with financial hurdles.
The young graduate’s parents and family simply did not have the means to help their bright daughter to move up the education ladder.
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