Read Alice Walker’s Powerful Poem Inspired By Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech
Activists, viewers, and commentators around the country have been talking about Jesse Williams’ iconic speech he gave at the BET Awards this past Sunday. Williams was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award and spoke candidly about his passion around the preservation of Black lives. Even folks like the acclaimed poet Alice Walker were taken with his words. In his honor, she wrote the poem “Here It Is.”
The poem is important because it highlights the ways that Williams’ skin and eye color does not exclude him from Blackness. Read the full poem below.
Here it is
the beauty that scares you
-so you believe-
For he is certainly gorgeous
and he is certainly where whiteness
to your disbelief
has not wandered off
No. It is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,
a Malcolm-esque jaw. His loyal parents
may Goddess bless them
sitting proud and happy and no doubt
at what they have done.
For he is black too. And obviously
with a soul
made of everything.
Try to think bigger than you ever have
or had courage enough to do:
that blackness is not where whiteness
wanders off to die: but that it is
like the dark matter
between stars and galaxies in
holds it all
Three deep bows to a beautiful son.