Brother John B. Williams
|Sunrise: June 8, 1924||Sunset: April 27, 2011|
Brother John Bartholomew Williams passed into eternal life on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at the age of 86 surrounded by loving family and friends. He is survived by his beloved wife Antoinette Edinburgh Williams of 51 years. He was born on June 8, 1924, to the union of Mathew B. Williams and Anita Mutin Williams both of whom preceded him in death. He is the brother of Bernice W. Wilbon, Eunice W. Letcher, Dr. Henry M. Williams, and Durell H. Williams. He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Brother Williams earned a B.A. in Education and a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision at Southern University of Baton Rouge. His 28 year career in education began at Rivers Fredricks in New Orleans and he retired as the Principal of Sophie B. Wright. He was initiated into the Theta Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 1943 and elected as the Basileus in 1943. He played an active role in the Civil Rights Movement and served as the Director of Black Youth for Progress, authored a voter registration guide book, and opened a voter registration school in the aftermath of the 1950 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Sweatt v. Painter.
Brother Williams also served as a local co-promoter for renowned musical artists such as Billy Eckstein, Count Basie, Diana Washington, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole and others. In 1962, he co-founded the Edinburgh Williams Beauty Salon, Inc. with his wife, Antoinette E. Williams. In 1976, he became a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. Deacon Williams was the first Director of the Office of Black Catholics and proclaimed the gospel at the Pope's mass at the University of New Orleans on September 12, 1987. He received citations from Mayors Victor Schiro, Dutch Morial, Moon Landrieu, and Sidney Barthelemy.