If you didn’t watch the BET Awards last night, you missed performances from Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, Bilal, Eryka Badu, Alica Keys, Bryson Tiller, Future, Designer, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly & Maxwell.
There were many tributes through out the show dedicated to Prince (may he rest in peace) who were anything beyond amazing.
But the major highlight to us was Jesse Williams acceptance speech for his award for being an influential activist. His speech is below:
“This award, this is not for me. This is for the real organisers all over the country. The activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students, that are realising 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 mobilise. 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.
Now what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, 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 will restructure their function and ours.
Yesterday would’ve been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday, so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight, killing him on television then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.
Now the thing is though, all of us in here getting money, that alone isn’t going to stop this. Now 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 and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.
There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done, there’s been no tax they haven’t levied against us, and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here, ‘You’re free,’ they keep telling us, ‘But she would’ve been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free’.
His speech was so powerful. It moved the audience and everyone watching. We applaud you, respect you and thank you Jesse for your message. You’re the real MVP! #wemakeadifference #jessewilliams