E. Faye Williams: The tragic loss of Michael K. Williams

by Dr. E. Faye Williams

(TriceEdneyWire.com)—On behalf of the leaders and members of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc. I will be honoring Michael K. Williams on Sunday, September 19, 2021 at our 37th Annual Awards Ceremony.  Our theme for this year is “Through It All, We’re Still Standing.”  This theme was chosen because like other organizations, we have had many tragedies.  The coronavirus has negatively impacted many of our families.  Several of us have lost a parent or another close relative or friend. I am proud of our members who never stopped serving others. 

As we planned and prepared for our 37th Annual Awards Ceremony, we chose to honor Michael K. Williams as one of two of our Dick Gregory Good Brother awards. Our other awardee in that category is B. Michael who is an extraordinary clothing designer.  I knew him as the designer for my good friend Cicely Tyson who was among the many who left us in 2021. She was not just our friend, but a friend to many throughout the world. 

Now, there is Michael K. Williams who was chosen to be one of our honorees, but he, too, was a friend to the world.  Our hearts were heavy when we received the news of his passing a few days ago.  Michael had pre-recorded his acceptance remarks and they were among his last words. His words were so touching that we’ll share them with the world at our Awards Ceremony and I pray that his words will be as touching to someone as they were to me.

Our Awards Ceremony Chair, Dr. Theresa Buckson was one of Michael’s friends and she said, “Michael will be honored with NCBW’s Good Brother Award for his commitment to philanthropy, community involvement and his award-winning accomplishments as an actor.” It is true that the good often die young. Michael was only 54 years old, working on so many issues to better our community. His loss is a real tragedy. His loss is a wakeup call for all of us to pay attention and lend a hand to those who are showing signs of depression.

Michael was a kind person who exemplified community involvement and was an exceptional actor and activist. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.  He will be missed for the great work he did and the work he’d planned to do. 

Other honorees for the event will be Congresswomen Nikema Williams, Cori Bush and Marilyn Strickland who will receive NCBW’s Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm Award.  Others to be honored are District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, NEA President Rebecca Pringle, Moderna Lead Researcher Dr. Kizzy Corbett, Black Voters Matter Fund and Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute Co-Founder LaTosha Brown, Fashion Designer Extraordinaire B. Michael and WNBA Vice-President and Co-Owner of the Atlanta Dream Renee Montgomery.  Among entertainers for the event are the Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr.—the only couple of Pop and Soul, Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye, Dr. Sonja Fuqua and Greater Works of Suitland, Maryland’s Praise Team.    

Tamika Mallory will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

The 2021 NCBW Awards Ceremony will deliver a virtual experience following the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Weekend event.  The organization was founded in 1984 by the late Dr. C. DeLores Tucker and first chaired by the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, NCBW is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit community service organization with chapters all across the country.  It is the organization responsible for erecting a bust of Sojourner Truth in the United States Capitol making Sojourner the first Black woman so honored. Since that time, a memorial to Rosa Park has been added. With all the Federal holidays honoring men, it’s time for one to honor a woman! 

(Dr. E. Faye Williams is President of the National Congress of Black Women.)

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