The Last


at Harvard

The Class of 1963 and the 18 Young Men Who Changed Harvard Forever

Meet the 18: Wesley Williams

Wesley Williams
Born: Washington, DC, 1942
Prepared at: The Taft School, Watertown, CT

[In my family] there was just no emphasis on race. We didn't talk much about it. My parents tried to free me up by hiding me from the fact that the restaurants were segregated. So my parents would always say, you know, people of breeding, of good character and background do not eat in public places. We go to visit homes of our well educated and refined friends.

Wesley grew up in the elite Black upper class of Washington, D.C., where his family had connections with politicians, academics, and clergy. He went on to have it all: prestige, money, a corporate law career, and a post as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. And then he gave it all up to become an Anglican priest in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.