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.

Jesse Williams Drops the Mic at The BET Awards

Jesse Williams has earned the name “activist bae” for many reasons. He is active on social media about his concern for the preservation of Black Lives. He is a humanitarian and does not shy away from confrontation when it comes to challenging the status quo of racial aggression in the United States. Williams gave an amazing speech at the 2016 BET Awards on Sunday that only confirmed his seriousness when it comes to this work.

Monday Morning Bullets

Here goes:

  • Last week, I was listening to NPR on my drive home and heard Michelle (say it with me, now Meeee-shell) Norris’ description of FLOTUS, Michelle Obama’s trip to South Africa.  During her introduction, Norris was sure to mention that the FLOTUS danced with some South African kids.

Did Michelle O’s Dougie spark a minor obsession with her dance moves?  There’s a partial list of news sources discussing FLOTUS dancing here.  I think this is something worth keeping an eye on.  Viral videos of the FLOTUS cutting a rug inevitably raise questions about black spectacle, white consumption, and also about the relatability/likeability of our head(s) of state and his family.  It’s complicated, a very thin line, but worthy of unpacking.

Now, if FLOTUS does The Percolator and/or engages in a footworking contest with Chicago Bulls star, Derrick Rose, let me know, because I will want to see that.

The BET Awards '10 Blog

I save up all my BET watching minutes for one night: the BET Awards.  During the telecast, I’m generally underwhelmed and embarrassed for black people.  That last part is a lie.  Still, the BET Awards is how I up my hater stamina.  If I can sit through the entire show and say at least 50 snarky things, then I still deserve the appellation hater.  I call the whole process brandishing my hate game.

I live blogged the Awards show.  I share it with you this morning.  May it momentarily assuage your case of the Mondays.