Mary Williams Biography
Mary Luana Williams is an American social activist and author. She is known for her inspirational activism with Sudanese refugees. A daughter of Black Panthers members, Williams grew up in the heart of the movement, in East Oakland, California. When she was two years old, her father was arrested and subsequently jailed for assaulting police officers. Her mother was unable to take care of her and her five siblings and gradually became physically abusive and alcoholic. Williams and some of her siblings were then assigned to Laurel Springs Children’s Camp, where she met actress Jane Fonda. In 1982, when she was about 15 years old, she started to live with Fonda and her then-husband social activist and politician Tom Hayden. The erstwhile couple raised her as one of their own children. Fonda’s third husband, media mogul Ted Turner, was also involved in Williams’ upbringing. A Pitzer graduate, she went on work extensively with Sudanese refugees.