This was originally going to be my reaction to the BET awards until my first draft was suuuuuuuper long and pretty much just jokes that have been retweeted hundreds of times. But one part of the awards show that really stood out to me, was Jesse Williams’ thank yous speech. He was given the Humanitarian award, which is given to people BET wants to recognize for dedicating their time being activists and fighting injustices.
Before he was an award winning, surgery performing grandson of Harper Avery, on Grey’s Anatomy , he was a teacher. In real life. I remember following him on twitter for my own Grey’s obsession, and let’s be honest, selfies but I noticed him being super opinionated about so many wrongful murders by law enforcement. He spoke out when the murder in Furgeson happened, not only was he on CNN, but he took to Twitter as well.
His words made everyone who missed the point feel uncomfortable. He has been the most consistent celeb speaking up for black issues. That was when I really knew he was out here, caping for US, even though he’s biracial, he fully understands the plight of being Black in America.
Last night, Jesse Williams got on stage, fully aware that his white mother was in attendance, and still decided to speak directly to my soul with his acceptance speech. He unapologetically praised black women who have been the backbone of this movement, and that he wants us to be better for our black women. My heart exploded. I could have never dreamed Jesse Williams, someone who started off as the heart throb, would be everywhere I turn speaking real thoughts into the world for us, for the culture. If y’all weren’t woke before, you better wake up and get in Formation because it’s really our time.
So many artists and actors are using their platform to educate the youth, and speak up. It has been very rare to see our idols and faves doing more than just entertaining. He gracefully spoke on the frustrations Black people face everyday.
“If you have no interest in equal rights for black people, then do not make suggestions to those that do.”
Hitting the nail right on the head with that quote. He’s politely reminding each and everyone of you “get over it” kind of people to close your mouths. It’s actually tiring how much we have to remind those people that they are distracting from the conversation, especially when it’s crystal clear they do not care.
“The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander…if you have a critique of our resistance, you better have an established record of critique of our oppression.”
The way he eloquently sums up each of our frustrations, was even poetic. As a lover of spoken word, I felt the need to snap as he spoke to us, demanding a change now rather than later. Black people, we are resilient, but we deserve a break.
So thank you, Jesse Williams and BET, that speech was right on time.