Just Mercy

Just Mercy

Mrs. Williams Character Analysis

Ms. Williams is a respected elderly woman from the black community in Monroeville. Her presence at Walter’s Rule 32 hearing is significant because of her long history of involvement with civil rights battles. Having experienced brutality from police and police dogs while fighting for civil rights, she struggles to overcome her terror at the police dog that is brought into Walter’s hearing. Stevenson describes her as being graceful and dignified.

Mrs. Williams Quotes in Just Mercy

The Just Mercy quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Williams or refer to Mrs. Williams. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Resistance and Advocacy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Spiegel & Grau edition of Just Mercy published in 2015.
Chapter 9 Quotes

In that moment, I felt something peculiar. A deep sense of recognition. I smiled now, because I knew she was saying to the room, “I may be old, I may be poor, I may be black, but I’m here. I’m here because I’ve got this vision of justice that compels me to be a witness. I’m here because I’m supposed to be here. I’m here because you can’t keep me away.”

Related Characters: Bryan Stevenson (speaker), Mrs. Williams (speaker)
Page Number: 181
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mrs. Williams Character Timeline in Just Mercy

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Williams appears in Just Mercy. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9: I’m Here
Resistance and Advocacy Theme Icon
Systemic Power, Oppression, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Empathy, Mercy, and Humanization Theme Icon
...black ministers calmly organize to prioritize entry for Walter’s family and important community members, including Mrs. Williams , a dignified and elegant older woman. She reminds Stevenson of women in his life... (full context)
Resistance and Advocacy Theme Icon
Systemic Power, Oppression, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Empathy, Mercy, and Humanization Theme Icon
Media and Public Opinion Theme Icon
...supporters began to leave and Walter’s supporters filed in. In the parking lot, Stevenson hugs Mrs. Williams , who explains that she was beat by police and attacked by police dogs during... (full context)
Resistance and Advocacy Theme Icon
Systemic Power, Oppression, and Dehumanization Theme Icon
Empathy, Mercy, and Humanization Theme Icon
On the third morning of the hearing, Stevenson sees Mrs. William’s daughter in the courtroom. She tells him that Mrs. Williams stayed up in her room... (full context)