The BET Awards have been a place where the black community can celebrate the best and brightest of their culture since 2001, but there's no denying that Sunday night's (June 28) ceremony was especially well-needed given the current political climate. And while nothing can ever, ever bring back Clementa Pinckney, Tamir Rice, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, or the countless other lives lost over the years to racism, it's still refreshing to hear up-and-coming A-listers like Michael B. Jordan take a stand for Black Lives Matter on a national stage.
"We’d like to take a moment to send out prayers and strength to our people in Charleston, South Carolina, who have endured but are prevailing over a horrific act of domestic terrorism," Jordan said, when he took the stage to present. "But because of that amazing resilience, and forgiveness of that community, the acts of that madman are having the exact opposite effect that he intended. All over South Carolina, love is triumphing over hate, the way it should."
Jordan, who has spoken publicly about the racist backlash he's faced -- largely online -- over his role as the Human Torch in the upcoming "Fantastic Four," went on to explain that those who have been affected by the police violence that made Black Lives Matter necessary have his full support.
"Every year, at the BET Awards, we shine a light on individuals who make extraordinary contributions to our community, but this year we’re going to shine a light in a different way," he explained. "Tonight, we shine a light in honor of the many men, women, and children who stood up, held signs, marched, took to social media, got arrested, or even laid down in protest as a part of the Black Lives Matter movement. We are shining a light on all of you. We are shining a light on the people of Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Oakland, North Charleston, South Carolina, and McKinley, Texas, and everywhere else in this country where we’ve had to find the strength to fight through the sorrow of losing innocent lives while simultaneously demanding the justice we so richly deserve.
"BET is shining a light on you, for taking to the streets, insisting that Black Lives Matter, and being a constant reminder that we are not yet where we intend to be. Black Lives Matter. You matter. We see you, and we applaud your unbreakable, unshakeable strength. Thank you."
... Damn. Make sure you check out the new "Fantastic Four" and Jordan's upcoming team-up with Rocky -- literally -- in "Creed" if you want to keep seeing Jordan do his thing on the big screen.
And of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't also give a shout-out to MTV News favorite Jussie Smollet, who gave a brief-but-moving speech in the middle of the "Empire" cast performance.
“We live in a nation where freedom is what we represent, yet we are still fighting every day for the basic freedoms of all of our people,” he said. “Let the Supreme Court ruling be proof of how far we have come. Let the deaths of sisters and brothers be proof of how far we have to go. No one is free until we are all free.”