Motivational Monday – Stanley Tookie Williams Quote

For our final Motivatonal Monday inspirational quote of 2014, we bring you words of wisdom from American writer of children’s literature, nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and convicted murderer and gang member, Stanley Tookie Williams.

Where there's life, there's the ability to continuously strive to do whatever your purpose is or goal is in life - Stanley Tookie Williams

Tookie Williams was born December 29, 1953, in Shreveport, Louisiana. His mother moved him to west side of south central Los Angeles, where Williams grew up on the streets and was exposed to violence, drugs, and crime. In the 1970s, Williams was responsible for founding and running the violent LA street gang, the “Crips” with other members of his neighborhood. Involved in many robberies, assaults, and other crimes, Tookie Williams was convicted on four counts of murder in 1979, and sentenced to prison and the death penalty in California.

While serving in prison, Tookie Williams defended his innocence, and renounced his gang involvement and lifestyle. In 1997, he released a series of eight books for children speaking out against gangs and gang violence, including Gangs and Your Friends, Gangs and Weapons, Gangs and Drugs, and Gangs and Wanting to Belong. In 1998, Williams released his autobiography, Life in Prison, which urges readers to eradicate American street gang violence. All proceeds of Life in Prison are donated to the Institute for the Prevention of Youth Violence.

For his anti-violence and anti-gang efforts during his imprisonment, a member of the Swiss Parliament nominated Stanley Tookie Williams for the Nobel Peace Prize, in 2002. Although he did not win, Williams took the honor as an indication of the redemption and change he had made in his life, and released a memoir in 2004 titled, From Original Gangster to Nobel Prize Nominee.

After exhausting all appeals over 26 years in prison, Stanley Tookie Williams was executed by the state of California in December 2005. A tape of his final messages to loved ones and words of wisdom was played at his funeral.

“Teach [the children] how to avoid our destructive footsteps. Teach them to strive for higher education. Teach them to promote peace and teach them to focus on rebuilding the neighborhoods that you, others, and I helped to destroy.”

In honor of Tookie Williams’ 61st birthday, we remember the life and legacy of this world-changing man. As we head into this new year, Williams inspires us to look to the future, to think about our impact on the lives of others, to think about our place in history.

On this final Motivational Monday of 2014, Stanely Tookie Williams’ quotes remind us that life is short and that celebrating life together is important. Everlasting Footprint encourages everyone to remember, pay tribute, and collaborate on the legacies of all their loved ones.

About Cortni Merritt

Managing Editor, Cortni Merritt, MA, reads everything she comes across. She has degrees in both psychology and English, and has been a composition instructor, and a copywriter for lawyers, a coordinator at a dating service, and a property manager of apartments. Cortni makes it her mission to read people's stories.

One Comment


    Awesome article; my granduncle.

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