Watch John Legend’s Scarily Accurate Oscars Acceptance Speech

The Academy-Award winning “Glory” singer brought an important fact to light

John Legend and Common–as expected–won the Academy Award for “Best Original Song” for “Glory,” an impeccably inspiring segment of the Selma score, and the only thing more bone-chilling than their impactful performance may have been John Legend’s acceptance speech.

Thank you. Nina Simone said it’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times in which we live. We wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now. We know that the voting rights, the 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 than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you that we are with you, we see you, we love you, and march on.

It was both an inspirational moment for all parties involved, and a moment of realization for everyone in the audience, and millions watching from home. Vox went a little into detail about the stats that back up John Legend’s statement.

Here are the numbers:

  • In 1850, there were 872,924 black men (16 or older) who were enslaved in the US, according to the Census.
  • As of December 31, 2013, there were about 526,000 black men in state and federal prisons in the US.
  • In 2013, there were about 877,000 black men on probation, and 280,000 black men on parole (according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics source cited by Politifact).
  • The Bureau of Justice Statistics doesn’t break down jail populations by both race and gender, but 86 percent of all 730,000 jail residents in 2013 were male, and 36 percent were black. So it seems plausible that at least a couple hundred thousand black men are in jail.

The totals: 1.68 million black men are under correctional control in the US, not counting jails. That’s over three times as many black men as were enslaved in 1850.

It’s a pretty damning statement, and while there is a large portion of Black men behind bars for absolutely valid reasons, there’s something to be said about a nation that pours more money and funding into its prison system than its education system.

Watch Common And John Legend Wow The Oscars With Their “Glory” Performance

Right before accepting the Oscar for Best Original Song, John Legend and Common unleashed the most riveting performance of the Awards’ evening

In what was unquestionably the most talked about performance of the night, John Legend and Common‘s “Glory” performance received the longest standing ovation that the Academy Awards have seen in quite some time.

Just two weekends ago, the Chi-town MC and the talented singer did their thing to close out the Grammys, however, this performance will be the most memorable. With the backdrop of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, which was the site of the 1965 March to Selma, Alabama for the right to vote as depicted in the silver screen blockbuster Selma.

-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)

Watch Common & John Legend’s Performance and Oscar Acceptance Speech

Common and John Legend won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for their powerful song “Glory” from the film “Selma” at the 87th Academy Awards. Continue reading Watch Common & John Legend’s Performance and Oscar Acceptance Speech

Ne-Yo, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Beyonce & More Perform At Stevie Wonder Grammy Tribute

The Grammy festivities continued last night with the “Stevie Wonder: Songs In The Key Of Life” All Star Grammy Salute at the Nokia Theatre in DTLA. Continue reading Ne-Yo, Lady Gaga, John Legend, Beyonce & More Perform At Stevie Wonder Grammy Tribute

Janelle Monáe, Usher, Lady Gaga, John Legend To Perform At Stevie Wonder Salute

We wonder which songs they will sing? Continue reading Janelle Monáe, Usher, Lady Gaga, John Legend To Perform At Stevie Wonder Salute

John Legend & Common Will Perform “Glory” At The Academy Awards

Common and John Legend will perform their Oscar-nominated song “Glory” at the 87th Oscars, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today.  Continue reading John Legend & Common Will Perform “Glory” At The Academy Awards

“What Happened, Miss Simone?” Opens The 2015 Sundance Film Festival

John Legend pays homage to the legendary Nina Simone by performing at the premiere of “What Happened, Miss Simone?” during Sundance opening night. 

Continue reading “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Opens The 2015 Sundance Film Festival