Last night, John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn –better known as John Legend and Common–won an Oscar for their emotional song “Glory” from this year’s Academy Award nominated film Selma
. Beating out Tegan and Sarah’s amazing theme song, “Everything is Awesome
” from The Lego Movie,
and Glen Campbell’s career-capping song “I’m Not Gonna Miss You
” from the documentary Glen Campbell….I’ll Be Mine,
which explores the famed singer’s battle with Alzheimers, “Glory” had some tough competition. Addressing the racial inequality America still faces, “Glory” is a song that brought tears to the eyes of the Oscar audience, including David Oyelowo who played Dr. Martin Luther King Junior in Selma
. Common and Legend took the stage to perform the song, accompanied by a chorus slowly marching forward to reflect civil rights protestors, and were awarded the Oscar immediately following. While many believe that Oyelowo and Ava Duvernay, director of Selma, were snubbed by the Academy for not being nominated, and this year’s Academy nominations have been criticized for lacking diversity, “Glory” spoke to the struggle of African Americans and highlighted the consistent racial inequality painfully present even at the Hollywood ceremony.
Watch the awards ceremony performance, and their stirring acceptance speech to understand the immense power of the song and its relevance to contemporary American society.