Read Jesse Williams’ Very Woke BET Awards Speech

Read Jesse Williams' Very Woke BET Awards SpeechJesse Williams delivered a powerful and poetic speech at the BET Awards when he accepted his humanitarian award for all he’s done pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement and more.

Read the transcript of Jesse Williams’ very woke BET Awards speech and also watch it below

This award is not for me, it’s for the real organizers all over the country — that are realizing a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us can not stand if we do. It’s basic mathematics, the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilized.

This is more for the black women in particular who have spent a lifetime dedicated nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

What we’ve been doing is looking at the data and what we know is that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we are going to restructure their function and ours.

Yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday. So I don’t want to hear how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive by on a 12-year-old boy playing alone in a park in broad daylight killing him on television and then going home and make a sandwich.

Tell Rekia Boyd how it is so much better to live in 2012 instead of 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner, tell that to Sandra Bland, tell that to Dorian Hunt.

The thing is though all of us in here getting money that alone isn’t going to stop this. Not dedicating our lives to get money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we haven’t fought and died on the front lines of. There hasn’t been no job we haven’t done, no taxes they’ve levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them but freedom is somehow always conditional here.

You’re free they keep telling us. She would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so free. Freedom is always coming in the here after but the here after is a hustle, we want it now.

Let’s get a couple things straight. The burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystanders. That’s not our job, stop with all of that. If you have a critique for our resistance then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries 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 and then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costume then discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit.

The thing is…just because we are magic does not mean we are not real.


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