Actor Michael Okay. Williams, who died of a suspected heroin overdose Monday, devoted himself to serving to maintain metropolis youngsters secure from violence when the five-time Emmy nominee wasn’t performing on hit TV exhibits like “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
“Brooklyn is mourning one in every of its native sons,” the borough’s president and Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams tweeted shortly after information broke in regards to the East Flatbush native’s passing.
“Michael Okay. Williams was a generational expertise and a tireless advocate for social justice. As Omar in The Wire, he as soon as stated ‘typically who you’re is sufficient.’ Michael was at all times unabashedly himself — and he will probably be deeply missed,” Adams wrote.
The 54-year-old — currently a 2021 Emmy Award nominee as finest supporting actor in a drama for “Lovecraft Nation” — was discovered lifeless in his luxurious Williamsburg penthouse Monday afternoon.
Williams based the nonprofit Making Kids Win that gives alternatives to teenagers who’re vulnerable to getting concerned in gun violence.
The activist actor, who grew up in public housing in East Flatbush, testified at a City Council hearing final yr to help NYPD reform.
Sage Younger, a literacy advocate, additionally praised Williams’ charitable work.
“I was on employees at one of many many organizations Michael Okay. Williams supported, and he was the one superstar you might at all times rely to indicate up,” Young tweeted.
“He shared his time, expertise, and spirit with these youngsters, and the influence of that can’t be overstated,” she added.
Williams additionally donated his time to a different youth group referred to as Operation Who Counts.
“We’re partaking our youth, we give them the sources and the funds to construct our block,” Williams stated on the “Helpful Idiots” podcast final fall.
“Our youth are partaking their blocks to get voted, to be counted within the Census. We play music. We had a marching band. It’s communal, and it’s so lovely,” he stated.
Williams penned a column that ran in newspapers throughout the nation after George Floyd’s dying to advertise the work of one more anti-violence youth nonprofit, NYC Collectively.
That group “engages youth and officers to reimagine options to group issues, lessening the necessity for conventional legislation enforcement intervention,” he wrote.