Friday, March 31, 2006


The words would not come
In honor of my brother, Stanley Tookie Williams III
By Anthony Ross
22 March 2006, San Francisco Bayview

A hundred times I tried to write this. But the words would not come....

I write this [now] from the very place comrade George saw blood in his eyes. The very hell where Tookie and I spent years, side by side, fighting, struggling and educating ourselves, the place where we found our philosopher's stone and went from blue rage to black redemption -- and never looked back.

I sat here, in this place -- San Quentin's Adjustment Center -- on Dec. 13, 2005. I sat in the dark imagining war-birds filling the sky and me chanting an African battle hymn and speaking in Swahili to my brother.

But the words would not come....

I heard the helicopters flying over the prison, as the churning of their blades cut through the night air. I saw the look of apprehension on the guard's face as he peered into my cell to gauge my emotions. But, my eyes were empty.... [And] the words would not come.

At 12:36 a.m., I felt something seep out of me -- something that existed above the conscious level, where Tookie and I could communicate. I felt the weight of my brother's huge arm around my shoulder the way I always felt it whenever we walked countless miles around the yard.

I saw his handsome face and remembered when his beard was jet black -- remembered how he never cursed -- not once. Remembered the moment we became writers, him saying, "This changes everything." And it did: Author. Poet. Artist. Historian. Wordsmith. Mathematician. Philosopher. Mentor. Nobel nominee.

He was right. Everything changed....

I did not grieve for my brother, nor did I say goodbye. For I am he and he is me, and our brotherhood was never temporal, so, the words would not come. #

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