Last night at the 87th Academy Awards, Common & John Legend won an Oscar for Best Original Song ‘Glory’. The song features in the movie ‘Selma’ which chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent oppositions.
Many shed a tear during their moving acceptance speech which talked about the civil rights movement and made a comparison to where we are today. John Legend noted that there are more black men in prison today compared to the number of black men in slavery back in 1850.
The full transcript of the speech can be found below.
In addition to the emotional acceptance speech, Common and John Legend gave us a moving performance of the winning song ‘Glory’. Watch the video below. Their performance and acceptance speech was one of, if not the highlight of the Oscars this year.
Common: “First of I’d like to thank God that 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 is a symbol for change. The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status. The spirit of this bridge connects the 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. The bridge was built on hope. Welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings. Thank you.”
John Legend: “Nina Simone said that it’s an artist’s 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 voting rights, the act that they fought for 50 years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. We know that 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”