Actor, activist and entrepreneur Jesse Williams was honored at Sunday night’s BET Awards, and his acceptance speech was everything!
The Advancement Project board member not only gave an emotionally charged speech, but also dedicated his award to his fellow organizers.
“This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers of students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do,” said Williams, who linked arms with Ferguson activists in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in the fall of 2014 and executive-produced Stay Woke, a documentary which traced the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement and debuted on BET in May.
Williams also paid homage to black women, who are often times the unsung heroes of the movement.
“Black women who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves.” “We can and will do better for you,” he said.
Williams reminded attendees to remember those who died and why we’re still fighting to make people understand that black lives do matter. And he also spoke a word about the culture vultures.
“We’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment… ghetto-lyzing and demeaning our creations, then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is — just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”