Black History Month’s 21st century public figures: Jesse Williams

February 25, 2017

Behind the scripts and cameras of the Grey’s Anatomy set, Jesse Williams takes part in his community as an activist. Williams, known for playing a Dermatologist on the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, also plays an important role as being the youngest member of the board of directors at The Advanced Project, an organization that focuses on civil rights.

Williams took on the project of being the executive producer of the documentary The Question Bridge: Redefining Black Male Identity, released on June 2012. The documentary looks into the lives of several black men from different backgrounds to represent and redefine the black male identity.

“It’s important that celebrities like [Jesse Williams] support these movements because they have a lot of fans and people that look up to them,” senior Kevin Schwartz said. “They can be influenced by them in a positive way.”

In 2016, Williams received the Humanitarian award for his dedication to making a difference to fight intolerance, injustice and indifference. Instead of thanking those who he works with and friends, Williams took the time to use the spotlight he had to reference Black Lives Matter and the demonstrations of police brutality occurring recently.

Many saw the speech as an appropriate way of getting people more aware of the situations happening, while others criticized William’s speech, even creating a petition on to have Williams fired from Grey’s Anatomy.

“It was 100 percent right that Williams took the opportunity to talk about what is going on,” senior Giovanna Nascimento said. “People don’t want to hear it because they think everything is fine and everything is equal, but it’s not.”

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