Submitted to DCPS on August 30, 2018:
I nominate Maurice Williams to be the namesake of New North Middle School. Williams was a Washington journalist who died in the 1977 terrorist siege on the District Building in Washington, DC. He was the first (and to date, the only) journalist killed in the line of duty in Washington.
Williams was raised on the 600 block of Somerset Place, Northwest. He attended Whittier and Paul, and graduated from Calvin Coolidge Senior High School in 1970.
He remained in Washington for college, choosing Howard, and later obtained employment at WHUR as a News Reporter.
Though Williams died at the age of 24, he certainly exemplifies the mission, vision, and values of DCPS. He was a joiner of communities and a creator of communities. He was a scholar, a cadet, and played intramural sports. When he saw a need for service to the neighborhood, he created Sigma Beta Upsilon, a high school fraternity with the motto “Loyalty, Integrity, and Brotherhood.”
Washington Post articles from the era tell the story of this beautiful soul, snatched from this world too soon. His journey to seeking equity for black journalists was only just beginning.
Cathy Hughes said in 1977 “It’s not possible to replace him . . . We’re trying to bring something positive out of a useless death.” Over 40 years later, let’s make that “something positive” into a school that bears this hero’s name: Maurice Williams Middle School.
Slain Reporter’s Family Got News Several Ways (March 12, 1977)
Friends Eulogize Newsman Slain in Hanafi Siege (March 15, 1977)
When Terrorism Hit Home: Remembering Maurice Williams (March 12, 2007)
WHUR Remembers our very own Maurice Williams, who was killed doing his job. (March 24, 2014)
Ex-WTOP anchor remembers 1977 terrorist siege in DC (March 9, 2017)
The day terrorists took D.C. hostage (March 10, 2017)