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John Legend and Common gave rousing speeches as they accepted the award for Best Original Song at last night’s Oscars. During their acceptance speeches, the artists evoked political and social commentary.

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

John Legend got more explicitly political in his speech. “We say that Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now,” he said. “We know that the Voting Rights 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 then were under slavery in 1850.”

The musicians also performed their song “Glory”, which was featured in Selma, to last night’s crowd and was received with a standing ovation and tears.

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  • Anthony

    Their performances and speeches were a highpoint of an otherwise alabaster evening. The host, at the beginning, really irritated me by making a crack about Oprah Winfrey’s wealth. Believe me, I am not an Oprah fan, but I am so sick of hearing rich, white celebrities talk about Oprah’s financial success. It is so obvious that they want to say she is rich for a BLACK WOMAN.

    • blogdiz

      its also their way of saying see …..racism doesnt exist

  • Love.tweet.joi

    I must admit, in my mind, the value of the Oscar depreciated with 3 6 Mafia. At this point, they should just hand them out at the door.

    *weighs both sides with left and right hand*
    left hand: “hard out here for a pimp” right hand: “glory”

  • People cried during the performance. The song Glory means many things. It refutes the lie that all forms of hip hop is evil. It refutes the lie that post racial rhetoric is true. The song is powerful and inspiration. The more I listen to it, the more I am inspired to fight for the beloved community. Common and John Legend are absolutely right to mention that our voting rights are under threat, especially with the Supreme Court decision (including the voter ID laws). We have to expose the prison industrial complex which has ruined the lives of our Brothers and our Sisters. Their performance was excellent, stirring, and it was filled with passion. The events of Selma has motivated the Black Lives Matter movement too. We will continue to speak up and to stand up for social justice, liberty, and freedom without question.

  • Mary Burrell

    Lots of political statements were made