“Just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real”
Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams was awarded BET’s Humanitarian Award on Sunday night. The outspoken human rights activist—who executive produced the recent documentary, Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement— delivered a powerful and political speech about the cause he’s worked so hard on.
Referencing recent victims of police brutality, Williams discussed the violence against black people and the struggles they’ve faced throughout history: “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 is no tax they haven’t leveed against us,” he said.
The speech received a standing ovation by the audience, who went on to praise Williams on Twitter. A transcript of it has been published in multiple places, including The Washington Post and Bustle. Below, Genius‘s account of the speech:
Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that .
Before we get into it, I just want to say I brought my parents out tonight. I just want to thank them for being here, for teaching me to focus on comprehension over career, and that they make sure I learn what the schools were afraid to teach us. And also thank my amazing wife for changing my life.
Read Williams’s full speech here