How woke are you?
Well, activist and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams wants you to be even more aware of racial inequality, police brutality and the birth of the Black Lives Matter Movement with his upcoming BET documentary Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement.
Williams, who serves as the film’s executive producer, provides his impeccable insight proving once again that he is more than just a pretty face. Given how vocal on social media and present on the frontlines he has been, it makes sense that Williams has taken on the task of chronicling this current era in American history.
In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, Williams said that it was important to get the story right. “It’s an ongoing movement, so we wanted to be sure that as we catalog its origin story and machination, we also wanted to be sure we do not treat it as a fixed, finite, closed circle. We want to look back without being conclusive. That was really important to us,” he said.
Directed by Lauren Grant (The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution), the doc also includes commentary from the women who coined the hasthag #BlackLivesMatter Alicia Garza and Patrisse Cullors, along with Michaela Angela Davis, Brittany Packnett, DerayMcKesson, Johnetta Elzie and many others.
Williams also stressed the importance for the community, especially Black men, to view this movement through an intersectional lens, not just seeing police brutality and oppression as only a man’s issue.
“There’s simply no movement, there’s not even a semblance of a movement without black women and black members of the LGBT community,” Williams said. “We as men, in particular black men, are constantly supported, nurtured, forgiven, apologized for, led, followed and coddled by black women and they get very little in return,” he told the Huff Po.
He also hopes to convey that despite what the All Lives Matter opposition has to say, BLM is a “love movement” and a fight for equality.
“The interesting thing about white power and the desperate white knuckling grip on this thing call whiteness, which is a myth in itself, is that black folks… we’re not asking you to invent new laws for us. We’re asking you to include us in the laws that are already on the books,” he stressed to the Huff Po.
“Trayvon Martin did not invent the hood on a sweatshirt and wear it down the street. He used the hood that already exists, that white boys wear as a uniform all over this country. Anytime black people want to use the benefits of the flag that they pledge allegiance to and fight on the front lines of every single war since the founding of this nation, they treat us like we’re trying to invent something new and special for ourselves when all we’re asking for, or demanding in this case, is inclusion in a fully formed, well-oiled machine that already exists,” he concluded.
Stay Woke is part of BET’s The Truth Series that features original documentary films, directed by award-winning filmmakers that showcase the African-American experience.
Will you be watching?
Catch “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement” on BET on May 26 at 9 p.m. ET.