Originally posted 06/27/2016 12:20PM
On Sunday, Grey's Anatomy
star Jesse Williams
was awarded the Humanitarian Award and delivered a powerful speech
at the 2016 BET Awards
The actor-activist spoke out about racial issues, social justice and even cultural appropriation in the applaud-inducing speech – the address prompted a Twitter debate and even landed Justin Timberlake
in the hot seat
after he tweeted about the speech.
"Freedom is somehow always conditional here," he said. " 'You're free,' they keep telling us … freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but, you know what, though? The hereafter is a hustle. We want it now."
Even though he is one of the biggest stars on Grey's Anatomy
(he plays Dr. Jackson Avery
) Williams tends to stay out of the spotlight and keep his personal life private – except when it comes to social justice.
The moving address was just a small extension of Williams' activism, as he has long been an active member of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Here are five things you need to know about the Chicago native and his fight for equal rights.