Jesse Williams BET Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech

Last week Actor and Activist Jesse Williams lit an empowering spark under Black America that reverberated throughout social media and all over the World. His powerful speech received obviously both positive and negative feedback from the media, famous and not so famous (one female comes to mind, last name rhymes with gash) *Rolls eyes and dismisses the non-entity that she is*. Grey’s Anatomy fans are even weighing by calling for the star to be fired, someone has gone as far as to start a petition on change.org requesting for ABC to fire the actor for his “racist rant”. Subsequently there’s another petition for those who will boycott the show if ABC fire Jesse. On a more positive note, celebrated writer and activist Alice Walker wrote a poem in response to the speech.

Jesse Williams accepts the humanitarian award at the BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Sunday, June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
(Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Some pointed out that he’s just saying what Kendrick Lamar and David Banner have been saying all along. I personally think that the message is way bigger than who said it first, and if people actually heard and acted upon Kendrick Lamar’s and David Banner’s views, Jesse Williams wouldn’t have had to of shared the words he spoke. If anything we should all be on the same wavelength as Black People. We’re missing the fact that the speech – although available if you search for it – has been removed from peoples posts who shared it.  My question is why?

I started to type out an FB status in response to this last week, but it started to get too long so I kept it and decided to make it into a post:

“I’m livid…

…So it has been brought to my attention that the amazing speech Jesse Williams gave at the BET Awards, when he was acknowledged for his humanitarian efforts has been removed. If you shared it – as I did – in the moments after you heard it because you were either moved to tears, motivated, inspired, proud and most importantly empowered – because I know for a lot of people, that light bulb went off in their head –  you may go back to find it’s no longer there. I’m aware that it exists if you search for it in the videos tab, but why is it being removed from people’s posts? I know I’m not the only person whose noticed this.

Clearly it’s struck a nerve, and whoever they are can’t take the fact that someone so eloquently told all of Black America exactly how it is and what to do to get out of the mess we’ve been put in. They know once black people start to wake up and rise we’ll be unstoppable.
They know we’re strong because they used our ancestors to literally build civilisations. They know the power we behold so they do everything in their power to suppress us as a people, to pull us down and hold us back with limitations, custom rules that only apply to us and force feed us stereotypes through the media to the point that we self hate.
They know that there’s strength in numbers and that knowledge is power. They think that silencing us, killing us, and making us feel much less than we’re worth will stop us? They’re. Out. Of. Their. Minds.

Black Americans consume the most media and products of the entire population, they’re also getting into higher earning jobs at a younger age.  So it makes sense that they’d get rid of a speech that was not only aired to a large amount of viewers but now shared by them to the masses because it’s the only thing they can control.  Jesse Williams had everyone’s attention and was dropping knowledge in layman’s terms for all to understand. He’s talking about being aware of the brands we spend so much of our money on and urging us to  start focusing on the issues at hand. That’s the last thing they want you to do.

I bet you come across at least one sexual and violence related video on your feed EVERYDAY, I know you don’t go to your search bar and type in “girl gets knocked out” for example, so why does that shit pop up out of nowhere a few videos after a music video, harmless comedy skit or DIY/Cooking how to?? It’s completely unrelated! But a speech given by a fully clothed educated black male just disappears and goes AWOL????? Ok.

This is not an accident! They’d rather you be deterred and rot your brain than feed it knowledge. Ugggh!!! I’m angry to the point of tears typing this! This shit makes me sick! It’s so blatantly obvious what they’re doing! Will it ever stop?!”


What I rest easy in is the fact that you can’t un-ring a bell, it’s out there now – but it’s up to us as to what we do with the information. Do we continue on with our lives because we’re not directly affected?  Or do we get involved in our communities and try to make a difference. We need to stop thinking that there’s nothing we can do as one person. If we all did something we could make a difference.

Being “woke” is great! It’s the first step, but it’s just a state of mind. As Kings and Queens we need to do more, I know I do! I know deep down you know that too.

 

Jesse Williams BET Awards Speech 2016 from Carolina Black Caucus on Vimeo.

 

Here It Is
2016 by Alice Walker

Here it is
the beauty that scares you
-so you believe-
to death.
For he is certainly gorgeous
and he is certainly where whiteness
to your disbelief
has not wandered off
to die.
No. It is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,
a Malcolm-esque jaw. His loyal parents
may Goddess bless them
sitting proud and happy and no doubt
amazed
at what they have done.
For he is black too. And obviously
with a soul
made of everything.
Try to think bigger than you ever have
or had courage enough to do:
that blackness is not where whiteness
wanders off to die: but that it is
like the dark matter
between stars and galaxies in
the Universe
that ultimately
holds it all
together.

-AW


Blackout Ldn

Black Lives Matter

This post was originally published on Danielle’s blog: www.vanityfierce.co.uk

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