|Articles, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-02 01:38Z by Steven|
The Huffington Post
Monday night, actor and activist Jesse Williams gave a powerful speech at the BET Awards upon receiving the Humanitarian Award, during which he spoke eloquently, passionately, and dare I say — even lovingly to the audience of millions. I have seen hundreds of awards show acceptance speeches and Williams was the first Black man I witnessed stand up and acknowledge the sacrifices of Black women on this type of platform. In fact, through this speech he acknowledged damn near everyone, from “activists,” to “the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families the teachers, the students, that are realizing that systems built to divide and impoverish us cannot stand if we do.” He called out the names of those who have been killed by the police and railed against cultural appropriation and exploitation by White media corporations.
Williams’ speech was profound and emblematic of what it means to be “truly woke,” yet for some it wasn’t enough. While many tweeted their adoration for his message, there was a vocal group of people expressing their frustration that Williams — a light-skinned, biracial Black man, was being given center stage as “the face” for the Black Lives Matter movement. While criticizing his appearance, they conveniently ignored that there are plenty of prominent Black folks with darker complexions who haven’t said a damn thing their entire lives about social justice, stars with platforms even bigger than Williams…
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