There isn’t much we can say to introduce this speech by Jesse Williams. It is that important, that epic, that moving, that knowledgable – you just need to watch it.
Watch actor (Grey’s Anatomy), filmmaker (Stay Woke) and activist Jesse Williams’ history-making speech on race, the importance of #BlackLivesMatter and mobilization at the BET Awards.
From Jesse Williams’ speech:
Let’s get a couple of things straight. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander — that’s not our job so let’s stop with all that. If you have a critique for our resistance then you’d better have an established record, a critique of our oppression.
If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do: sit down.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, and 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 like oil — black gold! — ghettoizing and demeaning our creations and stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.
Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real. Thank you.
We’ll be talking about this night for weeks.
*Also noteworthy: watch Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar perform “Freedom” from the Lemonade album at the BET Awards.