Danville Museum Honors Opera Singer Who Broke Color Barriers

Danville, VA - A great legend who color broke barriers in the opera singing world was celebrated Saturday in Danville.

The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History hosted a presentation honoring the life of Camilla Williams.

Williams was born and raised in Danville and in the 1940s and she became one of the first successful African American opera singers.

A music historian shared many of Williams' great accomplishments with the crowd.

"Music Historian at Virginian State University, She became the first African American to have a contract with a major American opera company. There have been Blacks that have sung there before in the New York City opera, but she was the first one to have a contract, and that made a difference. Many people kind of overlook that," Ethel Haughton said.

The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History is in the process of developing a plan to curate many of Camilla Williams person items for an exhibit at the museum.