We couldn’t be more excited about the release of the Ava DuVernay‘s film Selma. The film is both a tribute to the 1963 marches held in Selma, Alabama (that would lead to the 1965 Voting Rights Act) and is partially a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic. Common, one of the film’s stars, has recorded its theme song “Glory”, with one of our fave singers John Legend on the hook.
The track is evocative and despite its potentially somber topic, soars with hope and positivity. The lyrics are based on the civil rights event that happened 51 years ago, but has updated references to the racial unrest we are currently experiencing in 2014, considering the shocking deaths of innocent, unarmed Black Americans like Eric Garner and Michael Brown, and the campaign of #BLACKLIVESMATTER. A lyric video to the song has been released and is worthy of your eyes and ears.
Common has always been an activist of Black pride and equality through his music, and “Glory” is no exception. Against a calm yet steady piano, he raps in a stream of conscious, using MLK, the Civil Rights marchers, and the Ferguson protestors as inspiration:
“Justice for all just ain’t specific enough
One son died, his spirit is revisitin’ us
Truant livin’ livin’ in us, resistance is us
That’s why Rosa sat on the bus
That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up
When it go down we woman and man up
They say, “Stay down” and we stand up”
The song is superb and we actually tear up with every listen. Times are so tough right now, we don’t believe any of us expected 2014 to end with so much necessary discourses about race in America, along with the heartbreak that came with it. But like our legends taught us, perseverance and dedication are the only ways to bring about change. A song like “Glory” encourages us to support the causes that reflect a more diversified and tolerant America that we can be proud of.
Selma opens in limited release on December 25, and everywhere January 9. The film is nominated for multiple Golden Globes, including Best Picture and Best Director.