Lessons from Jesse Williams — Soulful Success

‪When I saw Jesse Williams speech last night, I noticed something. As he was getting introduced I got the sense he was a bit annoyed. At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but the more he talked the more I understood.

It seemed like he was annoyed because too much of the focus was on him. As I listened, I realized he wanted to highlight the people doing the work. He was simply using his time in the spotlight to bring attention to the inequalities many of us see on a regular basis.

There was a lesson in his delivery. For me, it was a reminder to live and give outside of myself. Also, we should acknowledge those who have paved the way, those who are working at the grassroots level, and really that all of us have a role.

Each of us should be doing something to better our community. Each of us should be vocal in the things we value.There was a lot of talk […] ‪

 

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Source: Lessons from Jesse Williams — Soulful Success

Jesse Williams: 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

“Peace peace. Thank you, Debra. Thank you, BET. Thank you Nate Parker, Harry and Debbie Allen for participating in that (video).

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.

Now, this award—this is not for me. This is for the real organizers all over the country—the activists, the civil rights attorneys, the struggling parents, the families, the teachers, the students that are realizing that a system built to divide and impoverish and destroy us cannot stand if we do.

It’s kind of basic mathematics—the more we learn about who we are and how we got here, the more we will mobilize.

Now, this is also in particular for the black women in particular who have spent their lifetimes dedicated to nurturing everyone before themselves. We can and will do better for you.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

Now…I got more y’all—yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12-year-old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

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.

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 levied against us—and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so…free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little side note—the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander. That’s not our job, alright—stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, 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, our dollars, our entertainment like oil—black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though…the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

Thank you.”

Jesse Williams, 2016 BET Humanitarian Award Speech

Jesse Williams Dropping Serious Knowledge #BETAwards

“Freedom is always coming in the hereafter. But the hereafter is the hustle. We want it now.” –Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams spoke the truth at the 2016 BET Awards. I hope people weren’t just emotional for the moment. Rather, let’s continue to take action.

#HoldTheFloor

I’m so glad to know that the people I elected sat in to stand up for me. I hope they will keep fighting to make this country a safer place for me and my family. ✊🏻✊🏼✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 #HoldTheFloor
Watch Rep. Lewis give remarks on the House floor about the protest to get votes on gun safety.

#NoBillNoBreak

It’s so sad that #NoFlyNoBuy & Background Check can’t pass in Congress. Republicans are more scared of the #NRA than their own constituents. The people of this country want stricter gun control laws, and we elected you. It’s time to listen to us, or you won’t have to worry about needing the NRA’s money. We need #GunControl. #NoBillNoBreak

The Massacre In Orlando #PrayForOrlando

I just returned from a long, peaceful weekend to the tragic news of a mass terrorist shooting against the LBGTQ community in Orlando. I am going to keep the majority of my opinions about the Pulse shooting to myself until I learn more. HOWEVER, I will say that God will never tell you to kill someone. Killing in the name of Allah, Jesus, God, Buddah, or Vishnu should not occur. A pastor, priest, monk, or santero should not command you either. Whether or not you agree with a person’s lifestyle or sexual preference, it is not up to you to decide when his or her life should end. You are not God…or whatever you may believe in. Anyone who kills in the name of a religion will not rest in paradise, instead they will burn in hell. May God cover all who were affected. #PrayForOrlando

Rest In Peace Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it—then I can achieve it.”—Muhammad Ali

Today, our nation just witnessed the death of “The Greatest” Boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali. Known for his quick wit and his civil rights advocacy, Ali lived up to his name both in and out of the ring. Ali battled Parkinson’s Disease for 32 years, and he passed due to respiratory complications. He was 74. Read more about “The Greatest” on NBC News.

 

The Thugs of North Beach Avenue #ChangeTheNarrative

“The truth can never be known. It can only be told in a story.”—Alex Haley, Roots

Earlier today, I saw this video of the beach brawl that occurred at North Avenue Beach in Chicago during Memorial Weekend. For the first time in media reporting, I was not surprised by what I saw. There was no mention of these hoodlums being called thugs. That’s what they are. The police did not arrest any of these gangbangers for this uprising. That’s what it was. These delinquents left the place a mess with trash littered all over the place like it was a riot. Yet, the media just said that these lovely ‘beachgoers” were only involved in a brawl or melee.

It’s time to change the narrative. If we are supposed to be all-inclusive and say that #AllLivesMatter, then we need to be all-inclusive in our offensive reporting. Let’s discuss how these thugs had a terroristic uprising. Isn’t that what you said my people did in Ferguson and Baltimore? We were protesting the unlawful death of two young Black men. What were these thugs protesting at North Avenue Beach? Too much sunshine…not enough beer? Talk about privilege.

Why aren’t we talking about their families? It’s obvious that roughnecks like the people in this video must come from broken homes. I know that people from good homes just don’t act like this. Their mothers must be drunks, hos, and prostitutes. They have to have at least five or six kids. Let’s not even start on their fathers. You know their fathers were in and out of their lives, and they were either in jail or slinging drugs on the corner. You know how those white men are (wink wink). They are all the same. Convicts and brutes. I can’t wait to hear about their criminal records. Only people from broken homes act like this.

I am no longer waiting on mainstream media to change the narrative. Our truth will only be known when we tell our own stories. Let’s continue to tell our truth, our way, without the offensive descriptions. In the meantime, let’s rewrite their stories by using the offensive language that they naturally use on us. So the next time they decide to burn a city during a pumpkin smashing or flip cars after a football game, repost the uprising with your narrative. #ChangeTheNarrative

What’s Your Story? #Roots

“The truth can never be known. It can only be told in a story.”—Alex Haley, Roots