Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Alice Walker Writes Poem Inspired by Jesse Williams’ BET Awards Speech

"The Color Purple" author Alice Walker attends the "The Color Purple" Broadway Opening Night at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on December 10, 2015 in New York City.
“The Color Purple” author Alice Walker attends the “The Color Purple” Broadway Opening Night at The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on December 10, 2015 in New York City.

*Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech at the BET Awards has become the inspiration for a new poem published Thursday by The Color Purple author Alice Walker.

Titled “Here It Is,” Walker, 72, writes about the “fear of blackness in white culture,” and also about the messenger who reminded us all on June 26 just what is at stake.

“For he is certainly gorgeous and he is certainly where whiteness to your disbelief has not wandered off to die,” Walker writes in the poem. “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 amazed at what they have done.”

Actor Jesse Williams accepts the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Actor Jesse Williams accepts the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

She continues: “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 together.”

“Here It Is,” has already been shared thousands of times since she posted it on her website on Thursday.

Read in full below.

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
amazed
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
together.

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