Read Alice Walker’s Powerful Poem Inspired by Jesse Williams’ BET Speech

Alice Walker (Scott Campbell/The Official Site for Alice Walker)
Alice Walker (Scott Campbell/The Official Site for Alice Walker)

One of our most wondrous and prolific living authors and activists, Alice Walker, wrote a poem inspired by actor Jesse Williams’ brilliant BET Humanitarian Award acceptance speech.


The poem, published on Walker’s website the day after the awards aired, gives “three deep bows to a beautiful son” and hilariously critiques the fact that the video, courtesy of BET, begins with a McDonald’s ad. Walker wrote that the commercial “interrupted a poem I wanted to write about fear of blackness in white culture.”

Titled “Here It Is,” the poem gives props to Williams’ parents, his gorgeous features and to blackness itself, which Walker writes is “like the dark matter between stars and galaxies in the Universe.”

Read the entire poem:

Here It Is

2016 by Alice Walker

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

Watch the speech that inspired Walker: