The Speech That Stole The Show
On Sunday evening during the BET Awards Show, activist and actor Jesse Williams received the Humanitarian award. In you case you didn’t know, Jesse Williams has been active and spoken out for years against racism, police brutality and other issues that effect African Americans for years. It’s a well deserved award for Jesse and it probably won’t be his last. However, the award is not what has everybody talking. It’s his acceptance speech that has set social media on fire. Though he eloquently spoke against racism/white supremacy, police brutality and culture appropriation, he also raised awareness and called us to task in a couple of areas as well.
The above quote is probably one of the most powerful yet least talked about part of the speech itself. I’m glad he made it a point to acknowledge our Black women because without you my sisters, us brothers are nothing. As a matter of fact, without you….we can’t exist. Brother Malcolm conveyed it best when he said “The most disrespected woman in America, is the Black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the Black woman”. I’ve never lived in such a unique time where the most hatred, animosity and jealousy towards the Black woman actually comes from the Black man. In the advent of the internet and social media, it’s not uncommon to see forums dedicated to the tearing down and degrading of our sisters. There are platforms created specifically to dog Black women and what’s even sadder is that there is an audience for it and it consist mostly of our brothers. We are the only “race” of people that do this foolishness! What in the hell has happened to us that we no longer see the value in the very source in which we were birthed? My brothers, do you not realize that no matter how hard we work to try to rebuild our families, our businesses, our communities etc……that it’s not going to happen without OUR women? We can try to do it outside our nation (our people) and we may have some success. However, long term legacies that preserve our heritage and insure inheritances are passed on to our future generations to continue to build can only righteously done with our sisters. They gave birth to us and are our first teachers. To hate her is to hate yourself. I’m sorry but some things are lost on me. To despise her but yet to mis-appropiate praise, exaltation, honor and love to another group of women based on your hatred of your OWN is sick! That’s like plucking up flowers to make room for weeds. I can’t…………I digress but I will speak more on this more on a later post.
The next area of accountability Jesse Williams spoke on was our obsession to be consumers and the need to wear “branding”. He said “Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting 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”. This within itself is self explanatory. We’ve fought so long to be equal with our “oppressor” that we’ve become delirious in equating success with “stuff”. As a result, we’ve become known as “liquid money” where our dollar only stays in our community for one transaction and that’s on payday. After that, it’s gone.
Going beyond the Jesse Williams speech, we have to take action. Yes, the speech was timely and very on point but I’m sure his ultimate goal was for us to be accountable for what we do as well as calling out the system of racism/white supremacy. We must take an inventory of ourselves and access what is really important individually and as a people. To continue on the path we’re on is only going to leave us vulnerable to the worst that this system has to offer. Yes, Black lives matter…………But when will Black lives matter to us? It’s time to change our behavior………It’s mirror time.
Much Love & Honor,