Wilbur Williams’ life, like so many urban black men in America, has been both metaphorically and literally beset by imprisonment. Born and raised in poverty on Kansas City’s East Side, Williams came into a life of crime after graduating high school and working several low paying jobs. From there he spent nearly two decades in an out of prison.
Williams, currently outside the walls of prison, is still imprisoned with low education, poverty, unemployment, physical disability and legalized discrimination. His physical disability is a result of a side-effect from a drug prescribed to him in prison by privately contracted mental health staff. As a convicted felon, he does not qualify for food stamps or public housing assistance and he is unable to vote.