Many were inspired by Jesse Williams‘ impassioned speech at last week’s BET Awards, and one of them is the critically acclaimed poet and novelist Alice Walker.
The Pulitzer Prize winner (for her classic novel The Color Purple) has written a poem honoring the actor for his incredible speech which he delivered after winning the BET Humanitarian Award for his social activism in the Black Lives Matter movement, including marching with protestors in Ferguson, Missouri and executive producing the documentary, Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement, which chronicled the birth of the social justice movement.
Walker wrote in her poem, which she named, Here It Is:
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
Walker beautifully captures what so many of us have been thinking since Williams’ proudly delivered his speech.
Much of Williams’ speech focused on the unsung heroes of the Black Lives Matter movement, and Black women like Walker, who Williams believes are heroes in their own right.