The Oscars didn't get a lot of things right when it came to "Selma," but voters were smart enough to put Common and John Legend in the Best Original Song category for "Glory." The track won two awards this week, first at the Golden Globes and then at the Critics' Choice Awards. Common accepted both trophies, and his speech on Thursday night mixed good humor with some powerful social commentary:
Thank you, Ava DuVernay, for making the first feature film about Dr. King so beautifully. When Ava first heard "Glory," the first draft, she was like, "That's good, but I need something bigger, like 'We Are The World.'" I said, "'We Are the World'? You talking Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, 'We Are the World'? 20 million copies, 'We Are The World'?" No pressure, right Ava? Well, we knew the spirit and intention of that song, and we knew the spirit and intention of "Selma," and of what Dr. King is about. That's love, that's justice, that's freedom. For all people. We created "Glory" in that spirit.
Watch Common's full speech, which also includes a touching tribute to his father, below: