Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Oscars 2015: John Legend Makes Slavery Comparison in Acceptance Speech

 / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

John Legend gave a rousing speech in accepting the Oscar for best music for the civil-rights drama "Selma," comparing the number of 19th-century slaves to modern-day African Americans in the criminal justice system.

Legend won the award with rapper Common for their song "Glory," which they also performed at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, bringing audience members including Oprah Winfrey and actor Chris Pine to tears.

"We live in the most incarcerated country in the world," Legend said. "There are more black men under correctional control today than there were under slavery in 1850."

Referring later to Legend’s comments, Common, who also starred in "Selma," stressed the importance of using the platform of the Oscars speech to highlight social issues. "To whom much is given, much is required," he said.

"Selma" is based on the marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which involved civil-rights activists including Martin Luther King, Jr.

In-Depth

- Alexander Smith

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news