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Eldest Williams sister murdered in California

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The oldest of the five successful sisters from Compton, California, has been shot to death. Her two youngest siblings, Venus and Serena Williams, are known world-wide for their exceptional skills as tennis players. The older three girls, also tutored in tennis by their father, Richard, chose other professions.

COMPTON, Calif. (AP) – An older sister of tennis stars Venus and
Serena Williams was shot to death Sunday following a dispute in
suburban Los Angeles, authorities said.

Yetunde Price, 31, was with a man in a sport utility vehicle
shortly after midnight and “somehow they had become involved in a
confrontation with the local residents,” said Los Angeles County
Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Pena.

Sheriff’s deputies searching for three people believed to be
involved in the shooting surrounded a house in Compton at about 6
a.m., but it turned out to be empty.

No arrests had been made by midday.

WTA Tour spokesman Darrell Fry had no immediate comment.

Price was shot in the upper torso. Deputies on patrol heard the
gunshots and found Price, who was later pronounced dead at a
hospital. The man who had been with her in the SUV wasn’t injured
and was being interviewed by authorities, Pena said.

Price was one of five Williams sisters who spent their early
years in Compton, a crime- and poverty-ridden community where gang
fighting has claimed many lives. Serena began playing tennis at age
5 1/2 on the neighborhood courts in Compton, coached by her father

The family later moved to Florida, where Venus and Serena live
in Palm Beach Gardens. Richard and their mother Oracene are
divorced, and Price used her mother’s maiden name.

Just last month, the young female African-American murder victim being discussed across the country was one of poet and critic Amiri Baraka‘s daughters, Shani. Deaths like these invariably send a chill through me because they remind me of the low value placed on the life of a woman of color in America. That includes the lives of women of color from prominent families. So far, none of my siblings have died violently. But, I know it could happen any time.

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About The Diva

  • shayy


  • Nah. ‘Pathetic’ would be to ignore the epidemic of violence in black and Hispanic areas and not try to do anything about it, resulting in more violence. Drawing attention to a problem is necessary if people expect to solve it.

    Fortunately, the important healthcare entities of the U.S., including the Centers for Disease Control, have focused on aggravated assault and homicide as a health epidemic in those demographic groups. So have civil rights groups, who are championing meaningful gun control laws. These are the people who will prevent such senseless acts, not the ‘Jons’ of America, who want to sweep the problem under the rug.

  • Jon

    People don’t raise and eyebrow to many murders regardless of color. If your a lower or middle class individual and someone kills you your a footnote in the evening news that may or may not be fit in.
    Like color matters when your one out of the hundreds of millions faceless Americans in this country. What a foolish statement. I know if I were murdered tomorrow there wouldn’t be a fuss made by anyone accept my parents. The police would make the same efforts they made for this women and if it didn’t lead to an arrest soon enough I’d be one more unsolved file collecting dust, THE SAME AS A BLACK WOMEN. WHAT A FOOLISH STATEMENT BY MAC DIVA!!! THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE POINTING OUT COLOR THESE DAYS ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRICAN IN ETHNICITY!
    It’s a bunch of crap! It’s ashame this women was murdered and I wish the world wasn’t still like this. I also wish people didn’t try to play RACE into every little thing like they need something to be angry about or complain about. It’s pathetic!

  • Diva, I look forward to your column about black on black crime.

  • >> and it would be about what you guys say I’m not allowed to talk about, RACE. >>

    Actually, the only “you guys” I saw comment on this was me, and the last time I looked “I” wasn’t plural but singular, Mac Diva. And another correction that you seemed to miss (or ignore) was where I said that you should write about whatever you feel about writing about — and that includes racism, if it really turns your crank.

    Furthermore, I provided factual information that this is a recurring theme in your writing to dispute your claim that 80-85% of your writing has been about topics other than racism.

    In the case of this particular story it now appears to have been a justified assumption on your part, but just because a white person kills a black person (or a black person kills a white person) it doesn’t absolutely, positively mean it was racially motivated — which was my original point. I mean, why bring racism into a story until there is something factual to support this motive?

    If racism is central to a given story and there is a fresh angle by all means work it! 🙂 But I was saying that I’ve only been here nary more than a month and I’ve seen the angles in your writing, and the freshness is gone, IMO.

    Other tired topics here are the RIAA (and this isn’t from you). There’s so much material to discuss out there that I’m just suggesting fresher material.

    I digress. I’m still holding out on more facts on this thug to materialize, but I think we all agree that the penalty should be severe for this guy, if he is found guilty, whether the crime is racially motivated or not.

  • andy

    cool. look forward to reading it!

  • That would take a blog entry, Andy, and it would be about what you guys say I’m not allowed to talk about, RACE. But since when does the Diva obey anyone? (Mama and Daddy both being deceased.) I will write a piece about minority crime as soon as I get a chance. And, no, it will not be apologia for gangbangers and other violent people.

    Meanwhile, S-Train has an entry up here at BC about why he thinks the leader of the Latin Kings should be cut some slack. I don’t agree.


  • andy

    Mac, I would be interested to hear your opinions though about “black on black” crimes. Al points out an interesting point about rap lyrics and whatnot.

  • Yeah, this guy looks pretty white, not that this is any comfort to the Williams family. I didn’t know. That’s why I asked rather than assumed.

    Still, this one particular example doesn’t change the bigger picture. Perhaps Ms Diva has figures to prove me wrong, but my perception is that most of the murdering of people of color in America is done by other people of color, not caucasians. Am I wrong?

    And I’m certainly with the Diva on the last part- if this guy is guilty, I say hang him from the rafters so he won’t be killing anyone else, black, white or polka-dotted.

  • Wow! Talkin’ about irony. Al really set himself up for that one.

    Of course it doesn’t really matter whether the killer is black or white or polka dotted. The point is that he (or even a she) be charged and convicted of this awful act if he or she is guilty.

  • Eric Olsen

    Well, this shows that you can’t make assumptions. I freely admit because this happened in Compton I assumed all involved would be black. My mistake, very wrong of me.

  • Al – Here’s a picture of the suspect, and yes, he is white and has “gang connections”

  • I’m sympathetic to this statement lamenting the low value placed on the life of a woman of color in America. It’s a damned shame that people of color are so often brutalized and murdered. This seems to be a disproportionate problem even for wealthy, successful black folk. Michael Jordan’s father also comes to mind in this regard.

    However, Diva, by your language and your usual rhetoric, you seem to be spreading the blame around to put it where it always goes, ie whitey.

    Thing is, this is to a substantial extent an internal problem within black culture. You may have various somewhat reasonable complaints against some white folk, but it is very rare for white folk to be murdering black folk in the street. It’s generally another person of color doing such things.

    It’s black rap groups that talk shit about ‘popping a cap in a nigga’s ass’ and such like. It’s not Springsteen, or Metallica. There seems to be a great deal of self-hatred within the black community. What, exactly, do you want the rest of us to do about it?

    I haven’t seen a picture of the suspect in the Williams murder. Is he white?

  • ORDELL: She one of the women I got set up. I got Melanie in Hermosa
    Beach. I rent Simone a small house in Compton, and about four blocks
    away I got me this nineteen-year-old country girl named Sheronda. I
    found her waitin’ for a bus two days outta Alabama, barefoot, country as
    a chicken coop. Took her to my house in Compton, told her it was

    LOUIS She believed you?

    ORDELL Hell, yeah. To her dumb country ass, Compton is Hollywood. Close
    as she’s ever been, anyway.

  • Ok, just the facts, maam.

    Mac Diva writes:

    But, do get the facts of what I have posted to Blogcritics right. Between 80 and 85 percent of those entries have been reviews, mainly of literary fiction, but also of other genres, music and technology. Me thinks people who convince themselves I write mainly about racism are people who have an ostrich complex about the topic.

    Readers like myself can only go off of what we are able to retrieve and read and from what I’ve read, the majority of your writing in article or comment form — at least lately — comes back to one central, recurring theme. If it isn’t the focus of the piece then it rears its ugly head in the comment section.

    According to the info on this page you have submitted 13 articles.

    Unfortunately, because you deleted what you had prior contributed (or maybe a lot of what you’ve contributed, I don’t know), nobody can review the “facts” any more carefully than this.

    Sometimes blades cut both ways, don’t they?

    Of these 13 articles, here are the stats and anybody reading this can review them, just as I have:

    – 7 of 13 articles focus on racism which is 53.8%
    – 6 of 13, or 47.2% are not centrally racism-related.

    Still a long, long ways from 80 – 85% of your material not having to do with racism.

    This is my last word for now on this whole matter of what you choose to write about because you can and should write about whatever you please.

    I’m only suggesting that you not treat readers like me as intellectually inferior because we choose not to want to read any more about racism.

    Now feel free to flame or ignore or do whatever you please heretofore, but if you are going to talk about facts, it might be a good idea to actually be factual.

  • Go ahead, Mac Diva, insult those who try to give you constructive criticism. I won’t be the last that you take that tact with.

    Grow up.

  • That’s your choice, T. Perhaps you should pass on all posts that have anything to do with reality while you are at it. Reality being so intrusive and doubtlessly a “personal attack” and all. You will want to skip most serious journalism and literature, too.

    But, do get the facts of what I have posted to Blogcritics right. Between 80 and 85 percent of those entries have been reviews, mainly of literary fiction, but also of other genres, music and technology. Methinks people who convince themselves I write mainly about racism are people who have an ostrich complex about the topic. ANY well-written, substantive writing about race strikes them as too much and they go running for their hidey holes.

  • These comments struck me as being a bit egotistical, Mac Diva:

    Well, T., you can always hang out at many blogs where no substantive issue with ever be discussed. Those are pretty much the norm in the blogosphere.

    1) I said I was thinking about not reading your work any more, it didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to read other authors here. Other authors who don’t go on and on about racism. Like I said: enough is enough.

    There are plenty of things to write about and plenty of angles to explore and even exploring racism from time to time is OK, but it’s like your writing has, to me anyway, become a cliche wrapped in a cliche, IMO. I can predict just about everything written by you is going to be somewhat related to racism. It’s about as worn as a bald tire showing metal.

    It would be like Stephen King always writing about werewolves. Finally, somebody would say: those wolves don’t hunt any more, Steve! Thank Goodness he pretty much only had one Silver Bullet in him.

    2) You haven’t been to my blog apparently, or you’d know the blogs I primarily visit are technology-oriented because that’s the business that I am in on the web.

    It’s comparing apples and oranges with the blogs you seem to prefer, based on your comments. I don’t mind a pessimistic point of view or even sardonic wit, but your work is just depressing and tiresome to read any more, sorry. No, thank you.

    Since you think you belong out of or beyond or not a part of the blogosphere (because you are better than the rest of us out here?) then I implore you to seek publication to a circle that is more on your level of literary prowess. Perhaps the pre-Martin Luther King era when the world needed that drum to be banged constantly.

    In the meantime, I think I’m going to pass on racism articles and let Mikey have it.

    (a cereal commercial reference, btw)

  • I agree that all murders are sad, particularly when they are pointless and deprive a young person of his or her life.

    However, the angle that struck me was the devaluation of minority women’s lives that leads to extremely high rates of domestic abuse and murder. And, I do mean high. Most people are aware of the epidemic of violence among young black and Hispanic men, but do not realize minority women, though rarely the aggressors, are being murdered at extremely high rates, too. If you click on the link to the story about Shani Baraka, you will read a harrowing tale about an abusive ex-husband constantly harassing his estranged wife. When he comes by to shoot her, Shani’s sister, she isn’t home. He fills the bodies of Shani and her girlfriend with bullets instead. Any woman in the demographic will do as a victim to some abusers, apparently.

    Furthermore, domestic abuse is part of my beat on the civil rights blog. I’ve written extensively about the murder of his abused wife by the police chief in Tacoma and the prior and subsequent coverup, among other coverage of domestic abuse..

    Well, T., you can always hang out at many blogs where no substantive issue with ever be discussed. Those are pretty much the norm in the blogosphere. On the other hand, why waste the bandwidth? One might as well read the back of a cereal box.

  • This is a sad story, from a number of angles.

    Mac Diva: why do you have to spin a racial angle on everything? Or maybe I should say: why do you think everything is always racially motivated?

    This piece was very good until this part:

    Deaths like these invariably send a chill through me because they remind me of the low value placed on the life of a woman of color in America

    I think I’m done with reading your work because I’ve grown weary of this seemingly neverending theme. Can’t you ever find a positive angle to this theme?

    Please let me know when you change topics and I’ll start reading you again because otherwise I do enjoy your writing, but I’ve read enough of the “everybody is down on the person of color” writing slant that you’re overusing, IMO.

    Enough already.

  • Of course, some confrontations are unavoidable, and for all we know, Yetunde Price may have been the victim of one of these. As with every murder, this is a shame.

  • Ummm . . what Eric said.

  • Eric Olsen

    Perhaps, but to me it says stay the hell out of Compton, but if you have to be there don’t get into “a confrontation with local residents,” a rule that would apply to any number of dangerous neighborhoods white, black, Latino, Asian: anywhere with gangs. And I would hope the chill would apply to people of any color.