John Legend Accepts 'Selma' Oscar: "More Black Men Under Correctional Control Today Than Were Under Slavery"
'Selma' took home its first Oscar on Sunday night following an emotional live performance of the winning song "Glory."
John Legend and Common accepted the Oscar for best original song at the 87th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday night.
Selma's "Glory" won following a performance by the two musicians that received a tearful standing ovation from audience members including producer Oprah Winfrey, director Ava DuVernay, star David Oyelowo and Chris Pine.
During the musicians' acceptance speech, Legend compared the number of black men incarcerated in the United States today with the number of men in slavery in the mid-1800s.
"There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850," Legend said in his acceptance speech. "March on, and God bless."
Selma's treatment by awards voters has prompted some pundits, including Al Sharpton, to accuse Hollywood of being noninclusive (94 percent of Academy voters are white). He's not the only one making noise. There was a widespread outcry when all of the actors nominated for an Oscar this year were white — Oyelowo failed to earn a nom — and DuVernay also failed to secure a best director nomination.
The film received two Oscar noms: best song and best picture. Oyelowo starred in the film as Martin Luther King Jr.