Celebrities are people who can be looked up to or can be criticized for their every move (and, yes, sometimes should be). When speaking out about political or social issues, they start to wander into some murky water and a lot of people question their credibility. Sometimes, though, celebrities can take that stereotype and completely obliterate it.
On Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, one of the most powerful and influential speeches was shared by rapper Common. After winning the award for Best Original Song for ?Glory? for historical drama Selma, Common and singer/songwriter John Legend took the podium and what Common said next sent chills down all of our spines:
“The first day I stepped on the set of Selma, I began to think this was bigger than a movie. As I got to know people of the civil rights movement, I realized: I am the hopeful black woman who was denied her right to vote; I am the caring white supporter, killed on the front lines of freedom; I am the unarmed black kid who maybe needed a hand but was instead given a bullet; I am the two fallen police officers murdered in the line of duty. Selma has awakened my humanity.”
Common vaguely references not only the recent killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but also the killings of people involved with the recent police brutality protests and times when Women’s Suffrage was just an idea.
This is a huge step for Common to take for all of us, especially those of us who’s voice needs to be heard the loudest right now. And let’s face it: a lot of people (especially young people, who’s ideas will be most influential in the next 10 years) will take a speech from a musician they look up to more to heart than some guy in a suit. Obviously, we’d love to see this reality?change for a lot of young people, but right now, this is probably one of the best things that could have happened in pop culture.
So, for that, thank you, Common.
That being said, take a look and listen at Common’s speech from Sunday below.