Singer John Legend is proving that he is indeed a man of many talents. He just garnered a Golden Globe nomination for the song, Glory, an honor he shares with his equally talented collaborator, Common. Glory, is the stirring anthem for Selma, the upcoming film by Ava Duvernay about the life of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King.
Legend recently penned a poignant piece for Billboard about the current racial climate in America, and references the experience of being associated with Selma and how that has impacted his view of recent events,
“As I watched the final version of Selma, I did so with the backdrop of the streets of many of our major cities filled with protesters, crying out for justice after yet another unarmed Black person’s life was taken by the police with impunity. After the events of the past few weeks, in Ferguson, Mo.; Staten Island; Phoenix; and Cleveland, things feel eerily the same. While it is important to recognize and acknowledge racial progress through the years, it is also clear that we are far from King’s dream of equality and justice for all.”
Legend goes on to write about the challenges gripping the Black community and how they have manifested in ways that have ultimately stalled progress and hampered potential opportunities for enhancement due to economic disparities.
‘We still have a huge wealth gap rooted in decades of job, wage and housing discrimination.”“African-American communities are being crushed by a criminal justice system that over-polices us, over-arrests us, over-incarcerates us and disproportionately takes the lives of our unarmed youth because of the simple fact that our skin, our blackness, conjures the myth of a hyper-violent negro.”
Finally the eloquent singer praises the efforts of the protesters who are steadfast in their demand for justice and equality, and echoes the sentiment that change can only be achieved by public persuasion. “We can’t wait for gradual and incremental change. Our government is a democracy, by the people and for the people. It is time for the people to wake up, stand up and demand change.”