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Jesse Williams Awards: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Actor Rounds Up Support For BET Acceptance Speech on Racism and Inequality

( [email protected] ) Jun 29, 2016 10:30 AM EDT
Actor Jesse Williams recently caused a powerful stir at Sunday’s 2016 BET Awards when he shared his inspiring speech about black lives being an important matter.
Jesse Williams on ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy' Photo: Facebook

Actor Jesse Williams recently caused a powerful stir at Sunday’s 2016 BET Awards when he shared his inspiring speech about black lives being an important matter.

Williams received the Humanitarian Award during Sunday’s event for his attempts to increase awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Words are only as good as the response to those words," he said in an interview with PEOPLE. "But I'd like to think that I give people a sense that they are not alone."

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star shared a gripping speech that touched on a wide range of topics, such as education, social justice and racial issues, after which the audience offered their loud applause.

In the said interview, the 34-year-old actor further explained why he believes it is crucial to deal with inequalities in the education system and its impact on societal progress.

"Otherwise we are treating the symptoms and not the sickness," Williams said, adding that educational institutions often do not share enough knowledge "about African people and the contributions of brown people in the history of the world and this country."

“The truth we are teaching is that every contribution in the history of the planet came from blonde people,” the actor asserted. “It's not true, and it’s destructive, and people are getting killed long-term as a result. People don't believe that we deserve it."

The Chicago native is reaching out to those who seek to help out in the fight for equality, suggesting that they should utilize the resources available in this technological age.

"We now have access to more information to view as a parent," Williams explained. "I grew up in a really horrible school system, but my parents did not let that define how we function.”

In another interview with ET, the actor explained why he has come forward to speak out for other activists who are experiencing difficulties in reaching out to the public and gaining access to equal rights.He added that society, as a whole, should do its best to show more compassion despite the circumstances.

"My personal experience doesn't necessarily fuel my ability to see humanity in places, and in the places they tell us it doesn't lurk," the actor said to ET. "We should be able to ask others to see themselves in us and we should be able to see ourselves in others."

Williams shared his plans of coming up with a reading list and posting it online for easy access.

"Whether you are reading about Frederick Douglas or you are reading about all the black inventors in the country that invented so many things that we touch and feel every day, or you can get really heavy with the history of African civilization, there is a lot in between," he explained.

Addressing the critics of the approaches used by the Black Lives Matter movement, Williams told them to “sit down” and avoid making suggestions to those that do.

Last Sunday’s BET Awards opened with a surprise appearance by Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar, performing their new song ‘Freedom.’ The event included tributes to Prince and Muhammad Ali.

Tags : Jesse Williams, Grey's Anatomy, BET Awards, BET Awards 2016