Back to IndieWire

Watch: Jesse Williams’s Fierce BET Awards Speech is Life-Changing

The "Grey's Anatomy" star dropped some powerful knowledge tonight.

Jesse Williams in "Grey's Anatomy."

Jesse Williams in “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Vivian Zink/ABC

Jesse Williams, who’s starred on “Grey’s Anatomy” since Season 6, was honored with the Humanitarian Award at this evening at the BET Awards — and took the opportunity to speak boldly. His comments are not just poetic, but represent a powerful teardown of white patriarchy in the era of Black Lives Matter.

READ MORE: BET Awards 2016: Full BET Awards Winners List

In the space of just a few minutes, Williams speaks passionately about the recent police brutality targeted at black people, invoking Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and many other names we cannot forget. “The hereafter is a hustle,” he says to suggestions that black people need to wait for their chance at equality. “We want it now.”

“We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture and our dollars our entertainment like oil, like gold,” is just one unforgettable moment of Williams’ incredibly quotable and impactful speech. Watch the whole thing below (apologies for the autoplay).


Stay on top of the latest TV news! Sign up for our TV email newsletter here.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox