‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star and Advancement Project board member Jesse Williams took the stage at the BET Awards to deliver a powerful speech while accepting the honor for humanitarian of the year. The former public school teacher of American, African and African-American History said the award was 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. He also asked that those with “no interest in equal rights for black people” avoid “suggestions to those who do.” He ended his speech with perhaps the most powerful point, saying, “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 . . . 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.”
It’s worth nothing Williams’ non-confrontational, poignant delivery. This is probably the best speech I’ve heard in some time. It’s powerful, yet non-divisive. To see it in it’s entirety, click HERE.