Congratulations to Common (Lonnie Lynn) and John Legend (John Stephens)! The duo won Academy Awards for Best Original Song "Glory" for the film Selma (directed by Ava Duvernay). Common and Legend delivered a compelling and formidable performance of the award winning song against a backdrop replicating the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the March on Selma during the Civil Rights Movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The performance was impeccable, leading the audience to tears and receiving a well-deserved standing ovation.
Common and Legend did not stop there. In their acceptance speeches, both artists reminded the audience and the world that civil rights is still a relevant issue. Common stated the Edmund Pettus Bridge represents change. It was "built on hope, welded with compassion and elevated by love for all human beings."
John Legend further stated, "We say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is now. The Voting Rights Act that they fought for fifty years ago is being compromised right now in this country today. Right now the struggle for 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, we love you, and march on."