Michael K. Williams has spoken about his career in a newly-discovered video recorded days before his death. In the video, he talks about how his traumas informed his characters and thanks fans for listening to his life story.
According to EURweb via its news partner Zenger, the video was recorded for the National Council of Black Women (Williams is wearing a "Protect Black Women" shirt in the video in honor of the council). The video was to be shown during their Sept. 19 annual awards gala as the council presented him with its Dick Gregory Good Brother Award for community service. The video was obtained by independent news organization Zenger.
In the video, Williams says how his work in the community is what should be expected of him.
"The work I do deserves no accolades, no pats on the back," he said. "In my heart, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing as a man from the same communities our youth are struggling in today. If I don't come back and bring my goals and my experiences and my knowledge back to the community, what's it all for?"
He thanked God for the talents has has been able to use "to exorcise and pour out some of my trauma that I experienced, into the arts." The traumas Williams referred to included a turbulent childhood with sexual abuse and a committing petty crime in his teenage years before funneling his emotions into dance and acting.
"Thank you for seeing me just the way I am," he said.
Williams died Sept. 6 in his Brooklyn, NY apartment, shocking the entertainment industry. While other outlets have refrained from posting a cause of death, Eurweb reports that Williams died from a suspected drug overdose. No spokespeople for Williams have confirmed this on social media or in the press, but the only allusion to drug use so far has been in a Hollywood Reporter op-ed written by his Lovecraft Country co-star Courtney B. Vance. In the op-ed about the importance of mental health for actors, Vance wrote about Williams' own testimony regarding his past battle with drug addiction.