The Freedom Archives home
    
Online donation system by ClickandPledge

Mabel Williams

We are very saddened to learn of the passing of Mabel Williams, the legendary African-American activist, who, with her husband Robert F. Williams, fought for and carried out the right of armed self-defense against the vicious attacks of the Ku Klux Klan, militantly represented the liberation struggle of her people during exile in Cuba, China, and Africa, and continued her active lifelong engagement in social justice struggles upon their return to the US. Mabel Williams was born June 1, 1931 and transitioned Saturday, April 19th at her family's home in Detroit.

Rest in Power Mabel Williams

In Detroit services were held Friday April 25th at Saint Paul AME Church.

In Monroe – The viewing was at the Harris Funeral Home – Sunday April 27th and the Internment was at the Hillcrest Cemetery – Monday April 28th.


Angela Davis, Kathleen Cleaver, Mabel Williams
Oakland - 2004

The Freedom Archives is honored to be able to offer these audio and video selections as a special tribute to Mabel Williams—the legendary African-American freedom fighter who we’ve had the good fortune to work closely with on several documentaries and events.

Mabel Williams has made lifelong contributions in her own right and this needs to be recognized and celebrated.  Yes, she was the lifelong comrade and companion of her justly famous husband Robert F. Williams—and she was with him every step of their courageous way—in Monroe North Carolina where, as NAACP leaders, they and other activists organized for racial equality and dramatized the right of self-defense against the vicious attacks of the Ku Klux Klan—with Mabel defending her home, Robert, and her two sons with shotgun and determination.



Yuri Kochiyama, Mabel and John Williams
Oakland - 2007

(2004 & 2007 Photos: Scott Braley)


Vicki Garvin and Mabel Williams


Mabel Willliams, Vicki Garvin,
Robert and John Williams


Link to Robert F Williams
Self Respect, Self Defense &
Self Determination
CD and Resource Guide




Amina and Amiri Baraka, Bobby Seale,
Mabel and John Williams - Oakland - 2007


While she often downplayed her role, Mabel, among many other activities, illustrated and wrote articles for their influential newsletter The Crusader, narrated and selected music for their radio program from Cuba, “Radio Free Dixie,” collaborated on the famous book, Negroes with Guns, was a strong voice for her people in Canada, Cuba, Mexico, Moscow, China, Japan, Vietnam, Europe, and Africa, and met with revolutionary leaders, such as Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, and Mao Zedong,

There could be no more fitting tribute than to highlight this woman whose militant anti-racist internationalism is powerfully expressed in her lifetime of dedicated energy around the world, then returning again to the Empire from which they had been exiled, and where she continued her social activism. We hope these selections from programs of the Freedom Archives and from an interview by Walter Turner on his radio program “Africa Today” provide insight into the lasting liberation legacy of Mabel Williams.

Video

Mabel Williams on the Beginnings of Radio Free Dixie
from Freedom Archives on Vimeo.

Mabel Williams on Armed Self-Defense and the Klan
from Freedom Archives on Vimeo.

Mabel Williams Recounts the Story of Her Family's Flight from Monroe to Cuba
from Freedom Archives on Vimeo.

Mabel Williams on Being in the Shadow of Her Husband
from Freedom Archives on Vimeo.

Self Respect, Self Defense & Self Determination - Full Program
from Freedom Archives on Vimeo.

Audio
You can listen by clicking on the track title.

The Story of the Crusader
from an interview with Walter Turner - 2004

Membership of the Monroe NAACP
from an interview with Walter Turner - 2004

Mabel's Experience in Cuba
from an interview with Walter Turner - 2004

Are You Proud of Your Efforts
from an interview with Walter Turner - 2004

Mabel's Advice to Young People
from an interview with Walter Turner - 2004