I am Veralyn Williams and I am 18 years old. I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. My parents moved me to The Bronx when I was just a few months old, so I've lived here almost all my life. Starting in the Fall, I'll be a college student at Hunter College. I am a member of MCC's youth theater company and I've been a part of it for three years. There, I write and perform original poems, monologues, and scenes. I am the oldest of my parents' three children but I love to act like the baby. (Summer 2004)
Interesting Fact: When I was 8, my younger sister dared me to jump off the banister of my stairs. When I did, one of my permanent teeth fell out but luckily it grew back in (a third time!)
During the Berlin Philharmoniker’s 17 day stint in New York this month, the orchestra is working with several of the city’s “high brow” cultural institutions – Carnegie Hall, MoMA, the Guggenheim and the Department of Education. Reporter Veralyn Williams spent the last 3 weeks following a group of high school students as they prepare to perform this weekend with members of the Berlin Philharmoniker. They’re created an original work inspired by Stravinsky’s "The Rite of Spring."
The racist tirade by comedian and "Seinfeld" actor Michael Richards has once again sparked a debate over the N-word, especially among black people. Reverend Jesse Jackson is calling for a complete ban of the word. Comedian Damon Wayans was fined several hundred dollars after using the word more than 15 times in a recent performance. He told the audience "I'll be damned if the white man uses that word last."
Veralyn has spent almost her whole life in the United States. She doesn't even remember Sierra Leone - her birth country from which her parents moved when Veralyn was an infant. Her dad has a green card. Her younger siblings are all citizens who were born in New York. Veralyn, however, is confused about her own legal status.