By Omekah Edmondson
It is obvious that we as a nation are hurt and are still hurting. Innocent lives are being taken away daily. Our legal systems seem to be failing us left and right, families are being torn apart, and it seems as though no one is noticing our silent cries or listening to our protests and demand for change.
However, in the midst of this unjust darkness, John Legend and Common’s hit Glory puts all of that hurt and demand for change into perspective. I appreciate this songs use of creativity to note what has happened in our past and how history is rearing its ugly head in repeating itself, but at the same time invokes a call to action that can ignite change.
The beginning chords immediately set up the scene and you begin to feel all of the anguish and struggle and something within you makes you sit up a little taller and prepare your mind to take in this musical serenading.
This song effortlessly paints the picture of the ugly truths within our history which are eerily similar to the events unfolding in our world today.
When Common raps,
“Everyday women and men become legends, sins that go against our skin become blessings … justice is juxtaposition in us, justice for all ain’t specific enough,”
it hits home with the injustices we as a people are witnessing and enduring. The unjust murders of Travon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, John Crawford III, Dante Parker, and countless others who haven’t received the same public recognition are happening too frequently and the legal verdicts for various cases are not measuring up to these horrid crimes.
However, as the song progresses the notion of hope for change begins to be noted. When Common continues with another deep verse stating,
“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,”
it immediately displays what we as a people are doing right now. We have collectively had enough of these wrong doings and are banding together to create one collective voice for change.
As the song progresses the overwhelming amount of movement inside you is almost bubbling over and just when you thought you heard it all you are hit, literally hit, with Common’s truth that,
“Selma is now for every man woman and child!”
It is the epitome of a call for action and a reminder to the people that we are witnessing history in the making and in order to have a better society we must realize the importance of our actions in this moment in time!
When Common shoots out bars stating,
“Somewhere in the dream we had an epiphany, now we right the wrongs in history, no one can win the war individually, it takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy,”
it is the most effective call to action to the people. We are pushed toward this idea that only together can this ignited flame, which has been started by these protests and demands for change, catch fire and blaze across the nation. We must continue to unite together through protests, supporting one another, seeking out education, and remaining properly informed to pressing news going on around the nation.
Change is in fact happening right now because we the people are demanding and protesting for it to come about. This yearning desire for a better society will not continue if we forget our mission to strive for excellence collectively and chose to divide and fight amongst ourselves over frivolous distractions.
There are bigger things coming into play and as stated previously we are currently writing history! Let’s be sure to leave our mark through our actions for ourselves, communities, governments, and generations to come.