1954 Kaliel Matthew Williams Memoirs

Omar Chavez, guest writer


“What is life worth?” I asked myself, “if my one companion through life is dead, then what’s worth anymore?” The Ka-Bar severed his liver, and that event severed my future. These crackas-

“Son! I know what you’re going through but that’s no reason to blurt out death to an entire race!” My father yelled at me once again.

“I-in-instead of profanity, how about you work on your desires? I’m ti-ed of sleepin in the car or some stranger’s spare bedroom!”

My father, although not the adult figure I wished for, it’s the only one I have. Either make use of it or use it to save my life. I still have not g-gotten over Lee’s death. A bunch of white guys who I thought treated me well killed my best friend- my only friend. I hate school, but I got the best out of it somehow. I also can’t stand it that people think it’s weird to talk to yourself. Thinking out loud is a reason I was able to focus on schoolwork. Also cutting wires and screwing parts together. I find it oddly satisfying.

That Zenith radio, it’s played my favorite songs. At least meeting Marie is one positive memory I have. I attribute the one thing I’m interested in to my advantage. I still have the radio she gave me three years ago. Her distant uncle hired me to work for him as his electronics manager at Zenith Electronics and Repair. I look up to him in a way. I want to be like him and own a repair store too. At least the discrimination has died down lots since the Brown v. Board of Education act. I wish I could go  back and attend school the way whites always did. But the equality has not reached universities yet, but I’m optimistic.

Speaking of beliefs, I think everyone needs an education, even women. I learned it the hard way. Thinking back to it, I blame my grandfather. All he did to his wife was use her for needless work, work, and more work. I have never seen the full potential of women, so I could have agreed with him at the time.

Memoir 2

“Why you do it boy? If I’s your judge I’d have you locked up!”

“Why’d ya send me to my grandpapa’s? You know he made me do it!”

“If it’s one thing I wanna do right is to discipline you.”

So the first big incident wasn’t my fault, but this one sure was. Now I can’t study anymore. I’ll just be like the negroes that all the white people hate because we all are criminals. Does it happen to all of us? Can I live my life calmly now? I can’t just go up to her and say sorry. If I even set foot in her house I would be sent to the police. I already hate the pigs enough because of my dad. But what problem would I have with him going to jail? Accepting prostitution should be just as bad as a crime as prostitution itself.

How I have been able to avoid court and trial is a miracle. How do I learn from a mistake like this? If I get a counselor that might raise suspicion. Also I might get seen even more crazy than what I actually am already. I yelled out of nowhere because this dumb white kid refused to mail the package which contained a scrapped radio to the Zenith store.

Memoir 3

At least for now, this Zenith 5-S-29 would keep me entertained and with some money. I can’t help but ponder the critical words, mood, facial expression, and control I had during the case.  I don’t think I can be taken seriously because of the one tick while I discussed civil rights.         The idea of separate but equal does not represent a country full of democracy and freedom.                 Hmm, let’s see. The black wire seems to be smashed in a corner, almost having one of its sides frayed. Some idiot must have forcibly pushed it off a table; a section of the antenna must have pierced it.

On a bright note, I can expect a result from the court case. I explored the campus in a somewhat sneaky way. I see very few colored folks attending this college: a maximum of 4% to seem exact. Fortunately, both me and the negroes there were not looked down upon and seemed like a very quiet campus.

Memoir 4

2 letters! One is from the District Court of Maryland, and the other is from The University of Baltimore. All the fancy language in all of the paper stresses me out. I wish I had someone to help me with it since paperwork makes me want to visit church and listen to words rather than to read it. Application papers! I don’t know wether to be excited or to worry about the future and how I’ll be treated because of my race. I have heard stories from Birmingham and I hope that kind of people does not exist here.

Yet another white guy today refused me to service his television set. It went a little like this:

“Good afternoon, sir.”

“Do you have someone else?”

“I’m the only one here sir, may I help you?”

“I’ll come back another day.”

“Have a good day sir.”

What annoyed me was the mumbled n-word I heard him mutter as he left the shop. He will be back since we do have the best deals on repair hopefully. I feel like being a typical “wait till I show them” kind of person, but how can I do that with my past? Word will get around by applying for college.

Oh boy, your parents’ name. Putting N/A for mother is already bad enough. I am begging my body for no butterflies in my stomach. I need mostly positive thoughts at this moment. Any behavior incidents and OSS? Fortunately I have gotten away without any behavioral incidents. Any drug usage? No, fortunately. Grade Point Average: 3:7, blah, blah, blah. Thank the Lord none of the questions had to do with criminal record. I am proudly putting African American on the paper though. The good of this situation is that the African-American Civil Rights Moment helps my motivation stay up; after all, I qualify for decent scholarships.

Memoir 5

My grandfather surprised me with a visit one day. It was not in my house though. I have no idea how he found out the address of this apartment. He somehow heard I got accepted. I felt all of the excitement that day, but I wanted to tell him after I would graduate. It really worries me because he knows about my past and what I’ve done, but he makes fun of me for being apologetic. I don’t know how someone can keep a thought so gruesome especially on how to treat women. He thinks I’m just being silly, but now I see the matter and situation at hand as morbid. Ironically, he is taking me to church this Sunday. Could God even forgive me or my father?



Works Cited

“African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954–1968)”wikipedia.org. N.p., Web. 13 Apr.                      2017

“Brown v. Board of Education (1954)”wikipedia.org. N.p., Web. 13 Apr. 2017


Berman, Eliza. “A Lost Story of Segregated America From LIFE’s First Black Photographer”.                  Time.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.

Daniels, Patricia. “Biography of Thurgood Marshall”. Thoughtco.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Mar.   2017.