Jesse Williams Spoke Out Powerfully At BET Awards: ‘Just Because We’re Magic, Doesn’t Mean We’re Not Real’

Kim McLendon - Author

Jun. 27 2016, Updated 9:43 a.m. ET

Jesse Williams of Grey’s Anatomy made a powerful and impassioned speech about American racism at the BET awards. Mr. Williams spoke after receiving the humanitarian award for his work concerning racism in America. He spoke of a system he believes is intrinsically unfair to blacks.

The BET awards are produced by the Black Entertainment Television network to honor black performers and other minorities. Awards are given for music, acting, and sports. What better platform for Jesse’s empowering speech than an awards show celebrating successful black entertainers.

Jesse Williams introduced his topic by thanking activists and organizers. He then made a tribute to black women. Jesse’s words are quoted in the Independent.

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“This award, this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students, that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do. It’s kind of basic mathematics, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize. Now this is also in particular for the black women, in particular, who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.”

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Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards can be heard in the videos below. Readers can also view parts of his speech and his comments with Entertainment Tonight in the first video below. However, video of the speech is being removed from internet sources due to copyright issues.

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Jesse William’s speech impressed the writers at WSB Radio, who described the speech as memorable. Overall, Jesse is getting rave reviews from across the web this morning.

The BET Awards honored Jesse Williams with their humanitarian award last night for his outstanding work in the field of racial equality. Jesse did not disappoint anyone with his six-minute acceptance speech. Williams used that platform to set forth some controversial views on the racial divide in America. Even those who may not agree with Mr. Williams’ views can appreciate his eloquent phrasing and the pointedness of his impassioned remarks as he made a compelling and thought-provoking case.


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