She was one of our champions of education and action – working in synergy with purpose. Not only did Vickie Williams possess an attitude that demanded respect and attention, but she also offered these two qualities of honor as a specialist in the literary world of books – specifically books focusing on the the African and African-American experience, as owner of Lem’s Life Enrichment Book Store formerly located in South Seattle, Washington. Alas, Ms. Williams has ascended to a place beyond Earth and has left a void for those who she helped build with her books.
Vickie’s LIFE Enrichment Book store was maybe the last of its kind, which is in itself a tragedy. Brother Henderson’s African-American heritage bookstore on Hilltop, Tacoma was the only popular counterpart and their collective efforts are surely missed. In addition to her service as a businesswoman, Vickie never hesitated to display her commitment to service having for more than 20 years served as a pillar of education, information, inspiration and support to Black folks in the Puget Sound – up and down the highway. Her presence was felt in Olympia at African American Legislative Day, in Tacoma at the Kwanzaa and cultural events and no doubt throughout Seattle as along with her voice, she offered the knowledge in books that many of the conglomerate and corporate book stores either refuse to carry or simply do not locate. Vickie did that.
As time held its everlasting duel that it will challenge all of us with, Vickie continued to be a servant. Personally, I can last recall her at Highline College’s annual Black and Brown Male Summit, with books, a look of pride and great expectation and a friendly and firm word of faith. She wanted to see the children and those of the coming generation succeed. Her desire of this was clearly delivered with her words and deeds. I continued up through last month attempting to call her to seek an article for Seaspot and to peek at what new gems she might have in… Maybe a work by Supreme Understanding? John Henrik Clarke? Bell Hooks? Iyanla Van Zant? Who knows. Unfortunately, I know now why she may not have been available even for messaging.
Vickie Williams is one of the civil servants, who did not get paid with money to serve – she was paid by the expression of faces, the growth of students and the enrichment of the minds who entered the doors of her stoor, those who visited her booths at so many events over the years and the men and women who she exchanged thoughts and debate with. As great as she was (is), she expected those after her to carry the load and continue the stuggle even better than she. What will you do to honor Vickie Williams and her memorable legay of literature and learning? Who will stand?
Much love and respect for Queen Vickie Williams as this legacy bearer joins the ancestors and leaves us with much work to do on the path that she walked, struggled upon and remains undefeated.
Peace Be Upon Queen Vickie Williams. We thank her – the independent businesswoman and generous servant. She will surely be missed by her family, friends, supporters and community.