The 2016 BET Awards had many wow factors that took place. From the outstanding tributes to Prince by artist such as Janelle Monae, Jennifer Hudson, Stevie wonder, The legendary Roots crew, Erykah Badu,  Bilal and an  electrifying performance by Shelia E. Beyoncé kicked of the excitement with a show stopping performance with a song off of her Lemonade album titled “Freedom.”

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Singer Beyonce (L) and rapper Kendrick Lamar perform onstage during the 2016 BET Awards at the Microsoft Theater on June 26, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Kendrick Lamar also took the stage alongside Queen Bey as they hyped up the crowd for the night! With all of the excitement that went on, celebs reminded everyone how important it is to vote in this upcoming election year. However the ultimate standing ovation went to the dynamic acceptance turned call to action speech given by Greys Anatomy actor Jesse Williams, after receiving the BET humanitarian award.jesse-williams-400 “We know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.” Williams’ speech commissioned viewers and award show attendees to use their power to make a difference. “So I don’t want to hear any more about how far we’ve come” said Williams as he spoke out against America’s corrupt justice system and police brutality that took the lives of several innocent African-Americans, “when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on a 12-year-old playing alone in a park in broad daylight,” referring to young Tamir Rice who was killed by Cleveland Ohio police officers in 2014. “Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better to live in 2012 than 1612 or 1712. Tell that to Eric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Darrien Hunt.” Jesse made it very clear to those that are not willing to stand up for justice and equality for Blacks to have a sit! “If you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.” Basically letting all of the opinionated bystanders know, you’re either for us or against us…put up or shut up! He ended his speech demanding an end to racial oppression and injustice, as he referenced Strange Fruit, a song written by Billie Holiday describing lynching and demoralization of African-American. “Ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is, though, the thing is that just because we’re magic, doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

 

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