The most talked about moment of this Sunday’s BET Awards was actor-vist Jesse Williams’ moving acceptance speech as he received the Humanitarian Award. Not only did he read the country, but he called for an end to racial injustice, police killings and cultural appropriation, however, his call to action did not end after he left the stage!
In the media room backstage, Williams urged celebrities and other people in power to speak up about the injustices that are harming our culture. “You have artists figuring out ways to be activists and use social activism in their art, and you have folks in social activism figuring out ways to bring in art and music in their activism,” Williams said. The Grey’s Anatomy star then added that he hopes to see a surge in Black celebrities fighting for the cause.
“What I’d like to see us do is return to a space where it’s OK for folks to be proud and outwardly Black in public and not have to feel like we have to be safe to live in white spaces, or to make everyone else comfortable when we’ve spent centuries being uncomfortable,” the actor explained. “People are getting more comfortable being political. We live here, we pay taxes, we should be able to talk about it.”
You see, Williams was charged up after captivating the audience at the BET Awards and eventually let out the ether…again.
“Just because I can dunk or act doesn’t mean I have to shut the hell up about issues that actually affect me and my people. We cannot allow them to extract from the Black community the best and brightest in a particular genre of expression that makes money for white corporations, and then separate us from the rest of the people. People are out here suffering. People are out here poor, and abandoned, and unsupported, and just because we get to be here tonight doesn’t mean that we’ve made it. We ain’t made it.”
Who else is thinking Jesse Williams for president in 2020? *raises hands*
TSR STAFF: Talia O. @theclosetratchet on Instagram & @tallyohhh on Twitter!