It was clear from the beginning that Hollywood’s African-American community was largely under-represented in this year’s Golden Globes. “Selma” was the only Black film recognized in major categories, and Black actresses Quvenzhane Wallis, Uzo Aduba and Viola Davis went home empty-handed in their respective categories. Don Cheadle and the star of “Selma,” David Oyelowo, were also snubbed.
The only Black winners of the night were rapper Common and R&B songwriter John Legend for their original song, “Glory,” which was featured on the “Selma” soundtrack. Common, who also acted in the film, was overwhelmed with happiness as he accepted the award with Legend by his side. He gave a brief but important and heartfelt speech as he paid homage to Ferguson and the Civil Rights Movement:
“As I got to know the 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 who was killed on the front lines of freedom. I am the unarmed Black kid who maybe needed a hand but instead was given a bullet. I am the two fallen police officers, murdered in the line of duty. ‘Selma’ has awakened my humanity.”
Although this night could not compare with last year’s awards sweep—as Hollywood could not deny the excellence of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “12 Years a Slave” and “Lee Daniels’ the Butler”—“Selma,” which recounts Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equal voting rights and the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., was fortunately represented by Common and Legend, who were humble and empathetic to the struggle King went through, thus making the night a long way from a total loss.