At last night's BET Awards, actor and activist Jesse Williams took home the humanitarian award, but not before giving one of the most rousing speeches we've heard in a very long time. Whether it was off the cuff or rehearsed, almost every sentence of Williams' beautifully articulate and almost poetic speech about equal rights for the black community will be quotable from here on out.
"A system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do".
Soon after he began, Williams had already earned himself a standing ovation, but he had a lot more to say, none of which we could better articulate than he did himself.
“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. 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, just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
Watch the full speech here: