The Oscar 2015 felt pretty dulled this year but one moment stood out. When Common and John Legend won their first Oscar for “Original Song” for Glory. They also performed it live. It was a beautiful acceptance speech and beautiful to see Oprah Winfrey and David Oyelowo watching them receiving their Oscar.
Common said : “First I wanna thank God who lives in us all. Recently John and I got to go to Selma and perform ‘Glory’ on the same bridge that Dr King and the people of the Civil Rights movement marched on, 50 years ago. This bridge was once, a landmark of a divided nation, but now it’s a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects a kid from the South Side of Chicago dreaming of a better life to those in France standing up for their freedom of expression to the people in Hong Kong protesting for democracy. This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion, and elevated by love for all human beings.”
John Legend said : “Nina Simone said, It’s an artist’ duty to reflect the times, in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on. God bless you.”
Watch the Live performance and acceptance speech.