[dropcap] J[/dropcap]esse Williams, our favorite TV doctor & one of the most influential actors to ever prosper has been the limelight of activism throughout 2016. Many have been distracted by his work on Grey’s Anatomy, ignoring his passion for justice and equality. Despite his amazing portrayal of plastic surgeon Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s medical drama series, Jesse Williams has done much more than that.
His famous BET Humanitarian award acceptance speech about systemic racism & police brutality brought shivers to our spines-shaking the sleepy & encouraging the awaken. I often find that as a black Muslim writer, my voice is shunned and replaced with media outlets that do nothing but use selective reporting as a means to disregard the many voices of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. But Williams acknowledged this problem, stating the following:
“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.”
Not only does he portray a member of the board of directors at the infamous Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital on Grey’s Anatomy, but he also sits as the youngest member of the Advancement Project, a non-profit civil rights organization that fight for an inclusive society among communities of color, from trying to end the school-to-prison pipeline to fighting against marginalization. Williams also took a trip to St. Petersburg, Florida for an episode of the docu-series “America Divided”, about schools with predominately black populations being the epicenter of the school-to-prison pipeline, which is a product of our country’s faulty criminal justice system that criminalizes black students for minor offenses.
He followed the thousands of people that took to the streets of Ferguson to protest the death of Michael Brown in October of 2014.
Williams has been the forefront of activism in 2016 & continues to use his platform for the better. We hope that more celebrities will catch up and use their voices to speak up about the issues that may continue to plague us until the day we finally choose to acknowledge them. Thank you, Jesse Williams. You truly are an inspiration.