Scene, Week of Aug. 15, 2013 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Scene, Week of Aug. 15, 2013

Photo by Lincoln Anderson
Photo by Lincoln Anderson
Aminifu Williams, 72, lately from New Jersey, was in Washington Square recently, enjoying the park scene. A jewelery artist, he sported elaborate, self-fashioned arm sleeves of shells, beads and shark teeth, which he called real. “Now that’s what I call style, ” one passerby remarked admiringly. “Peace, brother,” Williams responded, adding, “I get that all the time.” A lifelong activist, Williams said he was formerly a member of a Los Angeles group, Us, doing security for Stokely Carmichael. A sort of Zelig of the civil rights and arts scenes, he recalled nervously dancing with a beautiful, young Angela Davis, enjoying Martin Luther King Jr.’s laid-back humor, meeting a “very polite” Malcolm X, and hanging with jazz musicians Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Jimmy Heath. “I never try to please other people,” he said of his glance-inducing gauntlets. “Just go with your instincts, you know? Conventional people never have a lasting impression on history. It’s the people who step outside the box who push society forward.”