A well-appointed Bronzeville condo. Flat expanse of boulevard separates it from across-the-way buildings. A sudden downpour makes the neighborhood appear abandoned. Bruce Williams was born in Chicago, and lived here until he was 6. “Between 6 and 15 I lived other places,” he says, but moved back as a teenager.
What’s the first thing you remember about the city?
I remember being fascinated by those statues that are on either side of Congress Parkway at Michigan, of the Indians those horses. I can remember laying down in the backseat of a car just staring at those statues as we circled, and always looking forward to that.
I wanted to be a judge, an appellate court judge. I was pretty sure I didn’t want to be a lawyer, but I did like the idea of being a judge, and once I got to law school I became a little disillusioned.
The people that I went to law school with weren’t what I expected, or at least there weren’t enough of them. Getting some insight into the misery that is that profession, what it actually would take to be an appellate judge and the connections and how political a thing that is . . . . I decided to leave before getting too in debt. The appellate court position that I’d be interested in, you’d have to be appointed, so you’d have to have some kind of entrée you know into the kinds of folks that would be likely to appoint you . . . now it turns out that that the president is from the neighborhood, so I’m not sure how wise a decision that was. [Laughs.] It was partially that, and then partially that I felt like people that were drawn to the field were very conservative. It could be specific to the law school that I was at, but I didn’t really want to associate with and have to deal with this whole hierarchy. I enjoyed the law itself, I just I didn’t like the culture of it.
I’m probably liberal, depending on the way that’s generally defined. Just liberal, not radical, and more towards the moderate side of liberal.
So how are you feeling about Obama’s presidency so far?
Well I can tell you something that may give you a sense of it. So, I was recently married on January 20th of this year which is exactly a year away from when I got engaged, which was outside of the capital at his inauguration.