Actor Jesse Williams stepped up on the stage at the BET Awards as an honoree and completely stole the show… Jesse is best known for his work on “Grey’s Anatomy”. He received the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award and delivered a powerful acceptance speech which touched on issues such as calling for an end to police killings, racial inequality and cultural appropriation. His words reached the hearts of so many that publications such as Billboard are featuring his speech (in its entirety) and it has certainlt blown up the internet. (story on page 2, video of speech on page 3) Check out this excerpt from By KATIE ROGERS from the New York Times!
How Jesse Williams Stole BET Awards With Speech on Racism
Since 2009, Mr. Williams has played the role of Dr. Jackson Avery on “Grey’s Anatomy.” When he is not working on the set of the hospital drama, Mr. Williams, a former teacher, champions causes related to civil rights. He starred in and produced “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement,” a documentary that premiered last month on BET. He produces Question Bridge, an art project about the experience of black men in America, and works with Sankofa, an organization dedicated to ending racial injustice. Mr. Williams is also on the board of the Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization. The child of a white mother and a black father, Mr. Williams told The Guardian last October that his parents had shaped his activist roots, and said that being biracial allowed him to see both sides of a cultural divide. (Jesse Williams accepting the humanitarian award at the BET Awards on Sunday in Los Angeles. Credit Matt Sayles/Invision, via Associated Press) “I have access to rooms and information,” he told the newspaper. “I am white and I am also black. I am invisible man in a lot of these scenarios. I know how white people talk about black people. I know how black people talk about white folks.” But on Sunday, he delivered a speech that spoke solely to black Americans, and drew thunderous applause and shouts from the audience. Mr. Williams addressed the deaths of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland and Rekia Boyd, all black people who died during confrontations with the police. “‘You’re free,’ they keep telling us,” he said. “‘But she would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so … free.’” He ended his speech by calling for an end to racial oppression and cultural appropriation, including a reference to the Billie Holiday song, “Strange Fruit,” a meditation on racism and lynchings. “Ghettoizing 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,” he said. “The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.” Check out Jesse’s speech here! https://youtu.be/HeRIUPlxlv4