CLINTON, Tenn. — One of the Clinton 12 students that fought for the integration of Clinton High School in 1956 has passed away.
Alfred Williams passed away at The Waters Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility on March 14 at the age of 83, according to the Green McAdoo Cultural Center.
His funeral will be Saturday, March 23, at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Clinton. His family will receive friends from noon to 1 p.m. with a service afterward.
Williams was one of 12 students that blazed a trail for all Black students to achieve equal education under the law.
"He went on to work in the City School system and became one of the friendly faces of Clinton Elementary School and the 'candy man', until his retirement, according to Marilyn Hayden, Green McAdoo Cultural Center Administrator. "He will be missed by family, friends, and all those blessed to know him."
The announcement was made on behalf of the City of Clinton and the State of Tennessee.
"We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Alfred Williams. Alfred passed away at The Waters Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility on March 14, 2019 surrounded by family."
In the fall of 1958, dynamite leveled Clinton High School. No one was injured, but the explosion was a fiery mark of what the town had been through in the two years prior.
Their figures are statues today, but 61 years ago, the future of the Clinton 12 felt anything but rock solid.