On yesterday, the Oscars witnessed Black History in the making! Watching @Common and @JohnLegend perform and accept their award for Best Original Song for “Glory” was a motivating factor that left a profound footprint in history. The energy engulfed the room and took hold of each soul. With a room of who’s who, the Academy Awards became the ideal setting to make a new chapter in modern history. The moment transcended borders, genders, ethnicities, and social status and shall forever be talked about and remembered.
The performance alone was transformative and uplifting, but the powerful words that followed… life-changing.
@Common – First off, 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. This bridge was built on hope. Welded with compassion. And elevated by love for all human beings.
@JohnLegend – Thank you. Nina Simone said 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 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.
When what you emit from your soul evokes the spirit of the past and meshes it with the heart of the present, lives are touched and barriers are broken. With tears rolling, @DavidOyelowo who himself could have easily and possibly should have garnered an Oscar, sat, with pride bubbling over, watching history and appreciating the moment knowing what the moment meant and where it began. @OprahWinfrey, mesmerized by the performance and motivated by their speech, remained motionless, mouth gaped open in astonishment to what was happening, also remembering the ancestors and their plight. And yet what may have been more captivating was seeing Chris Pine, a well-acclaimed actor in his own right, with tears flowing being pulled into a world he presumably has never encountered and definitely hardships he has never had to experience and feeling the magnitude of this history making performance and in a three minute span, getting a glimpse of the past struggle and the present progress.
Ladies and gentleman, if this is not motivation, I do not know what it is. The bar continues to be set and it is our responsibility to pick up the torch and forge forward. Be inspired! Be motivated!
“Normally a film like Selma isn’t on my radar because of the “struggle” story Hollywood loves to remind us about. But when I heard John & Common’s voices in the trailer, it woke me up. It sounded different. This was two respected, young Hip Hop/Soul artists telling this historical story. Ava Duvernay was an emcee & part of an entire West Coast hip Hop movement. Selma is Hip Hop telling OUR story. That’s what Dr. King paved the way for us to do. Be influential VOICES. Let us all continue.” @AffionCrockett
“To be inspired is great. To inspire is incredible!.”