The death of actor Michael K. Williams, who rose to fame playing Omar on the HBO series "The Wire" in the early 2000s, represents a truly stunning loss. He was an artist who brought new levels of intellectual depth and emotional sophistication to portraits of Black masculinity. Williams, 54, was found dead in his New York City apartment Monday afternoon. A law enforcement official told CNN that investigators found drug paraphernalia near his body; another law enforcement source said an investigation is ongoing.
EDITORS NOTE: Peniel E. Joseph is the Barbara Jordan Chair in ethics and political values and the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor of history. He is the author of "Stokely: A Life" and "The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr." The views expressed here are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.