Selma may not have gotten its deserved nods from the this year’s 87th Academy Awards, but black excellence was definitely in the building! Just before taking home an Oscar for Best Original Song, Common and John Legend performed what was hands down one of the most moving performances of the night as they brought the audience to tears with “Glory.”
Bringing black history to the Oscars stage, the background set was a mock up of Edmund Pettus Bridge, the same bridge where Dr. King and other civil rights activists and leaders marched during the Selma-to-Montgomery peaceful protests. It ended with a standing ovation while cameras caught actor Chris Pine shedding tears in the audience, as well as Selma star David Oleyowo, who was crying so hard Oprah Winfrey wiped his face.
Meanwhile, John made sure to take advantage of his Oscars moment to let the world know that even with all the progress we’ve made, there’s still a long way to go.
“We know that the Voting Rights Act that they fought for 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 we are with you, we see you, march on.”
Catch the performance and acceptance speeches below:
By the way, you can now refer to Lonnie Lynn aka Common as Grammy and Oscar Award winning actor and rapper.