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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-

to death.

For he is certainly gorgeous

and he is certainly where whiteness

to your disbelief

has not wandered off

to die.

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

the Universe

that ultimately

holds it all


– AW

“Three deep bows to a beautiful son,” she concluded the post.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.