Singers Common (left) and John Legend take the stage to pose with their Oscars after winning the award for best original song for "Glory" from the film "Selma" during the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2015. (Reuters Photo/Lucy Nicholson)

Oscar-Winning Songsmiths See Global Message In ‘Glory’

FEBRUARY 23, 2015

Hollywood, United States. Common and John Legend made a heartfelt plea for civil rights in lands as far away as Hong Kong when they collected Sunday the Academy Award for best original song for “Glory,” their politically aware theme from “Selma.”

In one of the most articulate Oscars acceptance speeches of the night, the singer-songwriters referenced the bridge in the Alabama town where a 1965 march led by Martin Luther King spurred national support for the Voting Rights Act.

”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 those in Hong Kong, protesting for democracy,” Common said.

”This bridge was built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings.”

Legend added: “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this for a film that happened 50 years ago, but the struggle for justice (is) right now.”

”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,” he said.

”When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you, we are with you. We see you. We love you and march on. God bless you.”

Common and Legend collected their Oscar after an especially powerful live performance of “Glory” that stirred the Oscar crowd and brought tears to the eyes of David Oyelowo, the British actor who plays King in “Selma.”

Co-produced by talk-show tycoon Oprah Winfrey, “Selma” was among the eight best picture Oscar nominees this year, with “Birdman” emerging as the winner.

Agence France-Presse