When Alice Walker is moved by Jesse Williams’ speech, a poem ensues
His BET Awards acceptance speech inspired ‘The Color Purple’ author
Actor Jesse Williams delivered the ultimate speech at the 2016 BET Awards. Williams and all his “phenomenalism” transcends generational interests. Everyone took notice and is joining in on his advocacy for social justice.
On Thursday, Pulitzer Prize winner and The Color Purple conjurer Alice Walker took to her Facebook page to post a poem she penned expressing her thanks to Williams for his inspiring words.
Williams received the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award and showed the world why it was well-deserved. The social activist, whose call to action has been compared to those of actor Harry Belafonte, recognizes the continuous struggles black women and black Americans face and is using his platform to speak out. His powerful speech is one that will likely go down in history.
His personal views of race and culture and his eloquent delivery put those guilty of committing oppressive acts in the black community on notice. His words ignited a spark with Walker. The 72-year-old author, whose work still resonates through generations, has graced us with yet another piece of work.
“Here is part of the problem right up front: We have to endure a McDonald’s ad before Jesse Williams’ speech. Surely there is a better way to honor our people than by encouraging them to believe such a corporation cares about what they eat, unless it makes money for them. In any case, it interrupted a poem I wanted to write about fear of blackness in white culture,” she wrote.
Check out her poem:
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,” she concluded the post.