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.”

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