Jesse Williams Gave a Powerful Speech on Racism at the BET Awards

“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we ain’t real.”

Published27 Jun 2016, 05:12 PM IST
1 min read

Jesse Williams (of Grey’s Anatomy fame) was conferred the Humanitarian Award at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, where he took the opportunity to deliver a powerful speech on the rights of black people.

He received a standing ovation from the crowd for his speech.

Williams, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist spoke about Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was shot by a white police officer in 2014, who would have turned 14 on Saturday.

He spoke about the racism people face, despite the year being 2016.

So what’s going to happen is we’re going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function in ours.
Jesse Williams

As a celebrity, he has access to a platform and money, which he said has not changed or stopped anything. Dedicating their lives to making money, celebrities use their bodies to advertise brands (which isn’t very different from the branding black people had to undergo) is what his speech emphasised on.

Celebrities came out in full support of Williams’ speech on Twitter.

They quoted what he said on and off the stage.

Justin Timberlake ruffled some feathers with his response to the speech.

He was, however, quick to apologise for his remarks.

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