If Omar was ‘one of TV’s greatest characters’ it was because of Donnie. The show distinguished itself by laying out a palimpsest of failed American institutions but even within that decentralized narrative Omar was singular because the outcome of his life, before, during, and after incarceration was so unusual. He harnessed his dwindling resources to transform his own and others’ lives.
There have been a lot of articles about the death of Larry Donnell Andrews, the primary inspiration for The Wire character Omar Little, but this one, by Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, is the best.
Gharavi’s commentary on race, violence, and redemption is shrewd, and her respect for Andrews is apparent.