If there were ever a moment where one could drop the mic and walk away it was this one.
Actor Jesse Williams, in a five minute speech in which he accepted BET’s 2016 Humanitarian Award, shut it down in a speech where he made it known that he was not just another performer, but someone who demanded justice and equality for African Americans.
“A system built to divide, impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do,” said Williams, a fervent supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. “It’s kinda basic mathematics: The more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.”
In a show filled with showstoppers, his speech may have been the pinnacle moment, particularly when he said: “What’s gonna happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our country, or we will restructure their function and ours.”
The Grey’s Anatomy star wasn’t just blowing smoke, either. He spoke to EBONY in the December Power 100 issue about the importance of activism and organizing for justice. In his BET Awards speech, he took it further and challenged those who watched to do the same. “Just because we’re magic does not mean we’re not real.”