By Dylan Deprey
Too Black. Too strong. To be denied.
Pastor Carl Frederick Williams has lived by the Original Black Panther credo his entire life.
He was a son, a brother, a father and a friend. He was a pastor, a teacher, a mentor and a confidant.
As an educator, he taught Milwaukee’s youth for 40 years in Milwaukee Public Schools. He was also a lifelong student having graduated from West Milwaukee High School, received his Master’s Degree in Theology and worked towards his Doctorate.
For nearly three decades, even during the worst of times, he held his right hand high and radiated Black excellence.
Carl Frederick Williams passed away unexpectedly at 63-years-old on December 28, 2018.
“He was active in everything he did,” said Bessie Williams, mother. “He taught martial arts, he was a pastor, a teacher, an author and an activist. We were so proud of him with everything he did.”
Williams grew up in the church and dedicated his life to his family and the community.
“He brought the family together a lot,” Williams said. “A special memory is that he would hold Bible studies at the house around twice a month.”
Williams has been an activist in Milwaukee as part of the Commandos, the Black Panther Militia and the Original Black Panther Party of Milwaukee.
He was the right-hand man to Original Black Panther of Milwaukee General King Rick.
“He was my best friend, he was my confidant, he was my right-hand and my superhero,” King Rick said.
“He helped so many people in this community on so many issues, you wouldn’t even believe it.”
King Rick said Williams put his family and the community first.
“When we were working on the first event as the Original Black Panthers, we were stressing about how we were going to fund it,” King Rick said. “He looked at me and said, ‘General, we’re going to make this happen,’ and he funded nearly the entire event.”
He said Williams kept him grounded, especially during the hardest times.
“He was an integral part of the Panthers and he will be greatly missed, not just in Milwaukee, but nationwide,” King Rick said.
Despite his legacy, several local churches opted to not hold his funeral due to his Original Black Panther affiliation. The wake was held on January 4 at Banks Funeral Home and the funeral at Greater Little Hill on Jan. 5. He was honored by the Army in ceremonial last rites at the Veterans National Cemetery in Union Grove.
Williams is the son of Henry Sr. and Bessie Williams. He is survived by his mother, six siblings, four children, nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren along with a host of nieces and nephews.
Williams passed away the same day as the 3rd Annual Shopping with a Panther Kwanza event. The Original Black Panthers celebrate the third day of Kwanza, Ujima, shopping with local children who have lost a loved one to violence. King Rick said they had to postpone the event, and are naming it along with others to honor Williams’ legacy.
“It’s been a hard road, but I know he is with the ancestors now,” King Rick said.