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Jesse Williams has spoken out about the importance of teaching kids African-American history. According to The Jasmine Brand, the actor explained, “No one is doing us any favors by putting up a poster of Martin Luther King Jr. People need to realize that we’re directly connected to the invention of civilization. I don’t view it as just helpful for African-Americans alone, it would completely change the make-up of this nation and the world if people actually learned where black people came from and realized that Africans contributed directly to the foundations of civilization, architecture, irrigation, science, math and medicine. The first renaissance men were in Africa; it didn’t start in Athens or in Rome.”

He continued, “I don’t view it as a ‘nice thing’ to add for the black community specifically. It’s something that has been hidden from all of us, and it would be really helpful for people to realize that we have value in this world and we’re a part of its history.”

  • Williams also addressed the lack of diversity and the inaccurate portrayals of minorities in Hollywood, saying, “It’s a very real problem, but also there’s no such thing as Hollywood as a monolithic group. Some members of Hollywood crank out absolute sh*t that is destructive and completely riddled with stereotypes and is designed to provoke or be intellectually lazy. But then in the same building somebody could be producing tremendous material that is forward-thinking and inclusive – that could even be on the same network! ‘Hollywood’ doesn’t really mean much. We don’t all go to meetings together or all vote the same. I’m sure that plenty of people in Hollywood voted for Trump!”
  • He added, “People thought that they had to whitewash every movie to make people go and see it, but that’s statistically bullsh*t, the more diverse a movie is the more money it makes – statistically.”