Jesse Williams is known for his social activism in the community and making headlining news for speeches like the one at the 2016 BET Awards during his acceptance of the Humanitarian of the Year Award. Right in line with his brand, Williams just released Blebrity, the blackest trivia app game you’ve ever played.
The game has several different categories including Music, Make ‘Em Say Ugghhh, Dance Moves, Soul Train Line, and Actin’ a Fool, I Can’t Take You Nowhere.
Black Enterprise caught up with Williams during the AfroTech conference this past weekend, where he made the official announcement.
You have been in the tech industry for a while now and people are just starting to hear about it, so tell me how you got involved.
A few ways. It’s a new frontier right, and a lot of times new frontiers don’t make a lot of room for black and poor folks to have a real entry point and we have a real learning curve, a lot of catching up to do. When you enter something late, actually it reminds me of our history. If you’re lucky enough to go to college, maybe you’ll take an African American studies course once but, you’re already 19 years old whereas, everybody else, the majority of the population has been learning their history since birth, so you’re behind.
The tech world is like that or like the cannabis industry now, so we have to figure out ways to kind of overcompensate and be really good at each one teach one and lifting each other up, so I’ve just been trying to be a student. That started with diving into a cultural language extension tool called Ebroji. That was this GIF keyboard.
We saw that black folks on social media were driving culture, we drive the way everybody talks, dances, the trends, the way we speak, what trends on social media, seven of the top 10 trending topics. We don’t own anything, it’s not for us, it’s not by us, we don’t have any stock in it, they don’t employ us, so why do we have this middleman and why do we wait for corporate, kind of white pop-culture to validate us for us to exist, we already exist, so we decided to build something that included us.
Included our faces and bodies and we can use GIFs that have black/brown trends, gay/queer human beings expressing themselves. Expressing love, joy, passion, frustration, and it doesn’t have to be overtly political. It’s still political because we exist.
I dove into a product called Scholly that connects students to over $80 million in scholarships. Education is a big passion of mine. I struggled to stay in school, every semester to come up with an extra six grand, four grand to stay in school. There are a lot of ways to push us out of education and money is a big part of that and we don’t have the generational wealth that many others do so, Chris Gray created this incredible product and I just threw my entire weight behind him backing the product. We do great work. We connect students and help keep them in school.
Most recently, I’m most excited right now about Blebrity, something simple, a game. We all love game night, we all love watching people have fun, we all love getting together. Nobody gets together and figures out a way to be an alchemist and make something out of nothing like black folks, but these games ain’t built for us and that’s fine. We’re not waiting around, waiting for you. “Can you please include me? Can you please maybe make us, can you please throw us a crumb?” We’re not with that. We’ll just build it ourselves.Jesse Williams plays Blebrity with Tech Editor Sequoia Blodgett (Image: Kadura Bellamy)
Check out the hilarity of Blebrity live in action below and download it now in the app store.
(Videographer: Kadura Bellamy)