Jesse Williams has already moved many with his passionate speech at the BET Awards on Sunday and now he has inspired Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, to pen a poem in response to his message.
Walker's new work addresses the "fear of blackness in white culture."
Her poem, "Here It Is," has already been shared thousands of times since she posted it on her website on Thursday. Read the poem in full below.
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
Williams, who delivered his politically-charged speech after be honored with the BET Humanitarian Award, elicited one of the loudest standing ovations of the evening, with many in the crowd brought to tears.
Later in the show, Samuel L. Jackson praised Williams while accepting the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, sharing, "Jesse's the closest thing I've heard to a 1960s activist. That brother is right, and he is true."
However, the rousing message was not without controversy. After Justin Timberlake praised Williams' words, many slammed the "Can't Stop the Feeling" singer for missing his message of equality and cultural appropriation entirely.
And actress and Fox News commentator Stacey Dash wrote a blog post on Wednesday calling the Grey's Anatomy star a "Hollywood plantation slave" and saying his speech was "an attack on white people." Check out the video below to hear more from the divisive pundit.