“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
Right when we thought the BET awards could not get any more real after Beyoncé and Kendrick’s stunning performance, (sexy, woke, talented, actor/super-human) Jesse Williams had everyone in awe during his Humanitarian Award acceptance speech.
Well-known for his acting talents, specifically as Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy, Williams previously worked as a teacher, and recently produced the film, Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, which premiered on BET in May.
Williams, calm and calculated, addressed the audience:
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done, there’s been no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But [Sandra Bland] would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so… “free.”
Naturally this was less for those who’re wary of or turn a blind eye to the systemic issues of marginalized people. This was in hopes to spread a message of hope, power and a proper definition of freedom to be instated for the marginalized.
We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, 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 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, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.
Within seconds the audience members were on their toes cheering. If you didn’t know who he was or why he won said award, his speech itself is a testament to him being the rightful recipient.
Watch his full acceptance speech here.