Michael K. Williams was never very close to his father, but after a recent appearance on the PBS series Finding Your Roots, the actor feels closer to his dad’s Southern roots than ever.
“Michael K. Williams was born and raised in New York City, largely by his mother. His father—a man named Booker T. Williams, now long deceased—was from Greeleyville, a small town in South Carolina, and had returned to live there after separating from Michael’s mother,” according to a press release from the series.
It goes on, “Michael visited relatives in Greeleyville as a child, but he had no idea just how deep his roots in the town ran. We trace the family back to the early 1800s, introducing Michael to his third great-grandparents who were enslaved on a farm just miles from where his father grew up. Along the way, we recount the story of Michael’s second great-grandfather—a man named Billy Murrell—who endured slavery and became a landowner, running a farm that is still owned by the family today!”
“This is a beautiful thing, and it’s healing,” Williams said. “I’m going to leave here a changed person today.”
The episode, titled “Mystery Men,” also features actress Felicity Huffman and is set to air at 8 p.m. Jan. 15 on PBS.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.