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UNSPECIFIED - JUNE 27: In this screengrab, Billy Porter speaks during the Global Goal: Unite For Our Future - Summit & Concert on June 27, 2020 in UNSPECIFIED, United States.

Billy Porter recently made history by becoming the first gay man to cover Essence magazine for the publication’s July/August issue.

“But we don’t want vengeance. We want our rights. We want equality. We want to be treated like human beings,” Porter wrote on Instagram, announcing his cover feature. 

“We want to know that we can walk out of our houses and not be under threat of death every single day simply because of the color of our skin.”

“Thank you Essence for offering the olive branch and giving me a platform and having THIS conversation,” Porter said.

In Porter’s monumental cover feature, the actor talked candidly about race relations in the United States as well his truth.

“We’re like a dysfunctional family who keeps secrets and doesn’t want to talk about it,” Porter said in his feature, describing American society’s aversion to discussing the enduring impact of slavery.

“They don’t want to talk about the actual thing. They want to act like the actual thing never happened, so that there’s never a healing that can take place. White people are so afraid that we want vengeance that they can’t acknowledge the truth.”

“But we don’t want vengeance,” Porter adds. “We want our rights. We want equality. We want to be treated like human beings. We want to know that we can walk out of our houses and not be under threat of death every single day simply because of the color of our skin.”

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.