Bill Wolff: “Welcome back to Protest Anthems, the podcast about all things music, social justice, and protest. In this episode, Sophia will be discussing John Legend and Common’s 2014 song “Glory” and the context that comes along with it. We will also explore the issue of racism and how our country’s past very much connects to our present.

Excerpt from: USA TODAY – Systemic Racism: What is it exactly, and how do we fight it?

“Race is still the leading indicator about whether or no one succeeds.”

Excerpt from: “What is race and racism?”

“Race is based on how a person looks and their culture.”

Excerpt from: “Definition Of Racism- “What is Racism and Why Are We Racist?”

“Racism is defined by the oxford dictionary as ‘prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”

Excerpt from: “Why Racism Is the Biggest Issue in America”

“Racism is not something that we can go slow on it has been with us forever and it has been an urgent crisis since it began.”

Excerpt from: “I Can’t Breathe Audio Conversation Between George Floyd and Police Officers”

George Floyd: *Inaudible*

Excerpt from: “Denver Protesters Chant ‘I Can’t Breathe'”

“I Can’t Breathe, I Can’t Breathe.”

Excerpt from: Black Lives Matter – 2020 compilation / Justice for George Floyd

“The only way we’re going to get some of this oppression and exploitation away from us or a safe from us is come together”

Excerpt from: John Legend’s and Common’s Song “Glory.”

Sophia Vannello: “Racism is an issue that still remains to divide society all over the world. we need to start opening up our eyes to see that racism is still alive and well. If we do not recognize this issue, it will never end. Let me explain; Our world still continues to segregate, we place individuals in categories based on their skin color. This has to end. We still value hierarchy and bow down to power. This has to end. “‘Glory’ has not yet been achieved. Racial equality has not yet been achieved. The war is not done being fought.”

Sophia Vannello: “We are listening to John Legend and Common’s song Glory which debuted in 2014. Glory was written for the 2014 film called Selma which exposes the brutal racist south in 1960s.”

Excerpt from: “Selma Speeches Martin Luther King 1965”

“It’s time for us to say to these men that if you don’t do something about it we will have no alternative but to engage in broader and more drastic forms of civil disobedience in order to bring the attention of the nation to this whole issue in Selma Alabama”

Sophia Vannello: “On March 7th 1965 also known as Bloody Sunday, Martin Luther King and John Lewis led over 600 marchers across Selma, Alabama  and faced brutal attacks by police. The rest of the world watched as those who marched endured such violence that this march further galvanized the fight against racial injustice. What does this sound like to you? Pretty similar to 20th century America would you say? Throughout centuries, nothing has changed. George Floyd, Brianna Taylor and Durante Right are the names of only 3 individuals out of millions that have endured racial violence in this year alone. We have seen protests, riots, and many more types of gatherings that are fueled by the desire of change. Selma Is America.”

Excerpt from: “Video of Black Lives Matter Protest and Police Shooting in Dallas”

“Enough is enough. Listen, we have to make a decision. Black, white, brown, tall, skinny, short it doesn’t matter. One injustice in one place is a injustice in every place and we got to come together.”

Excerpt from: “Black Lives Matter Protests Around the World”

   “Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter.” 

Another excerpt (video shown above) from: “Black Lives Matter Protests Around the World”

“What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”

Another excerpt (video shown above) from: “Black Lives Matter Protests Around the World”

“And if we can do this, we can do more. We just gotta continue on pushing and don’t give up.”
Excerpt from: “STOP RACISM (MAKING A DIFFERENCE) – Best Inspirational Speeches Compilation Video”
“Most of us I tell you, we don’t want to be divided. We all want to help one another who would be user lightly we want to live by each other’s happiness not by each other’s misery we don’t want to hate.”

Sophia Vannello: “Many people around the entire world are left feeling helpless, defeated and oppressed everyday. This is because ‘glory’ has not yet been achieved. This war is not over as it has not been won. In order to see a glorified world, we need racial justice, equality, no judgment and most of all acceptance. We need to be more strategic, more smart and more for the community. Common’s words resonate with millions if not billions of people all over the world. Strategy, smartness and change is exactly what will achieve ‘glory.'”

Sophia Vannello: “John Legend’s and Common’s song “Glory” allows for so much freedom within it’s words and rhythm. Also, it is rooted in African American history much like gospel, blues and jazz. So, the distinct choice of using hip hop and rap for a song discussing the Civil Rights Movement is perfect. Also, Christianity has been a important piece in the history of African Americans. So, the inclusion of ‘glory’ gives more inclusion to the black identity in American. What we have here is a excellent representation of the African American identify. It is powerful, noting the challenges and the beauty of being black as well. It shows the complexity of this identity and that really resounds with people who know identity is not a simple answer, but it takes time and exploration.”

Sophia Vannello: “Today our world seems to relate to our country’s history. The Civil Rights Movement was a struggle for social justice that took place mainly during the 1950s and 1960s for Black Americans to gain equal rights in the United States. During this time, African Americans fought for the end of racial discrimination. However, they were brutalized for this movement. We see Common mention Rosa Parks in his rap verse. Rosa Parks greatly impacted the civil rights movement and will always be remembered in our nations history for her bravery. In todays age, we see The Black Lives Matter Movement and once again, people are still currently fighting for the end of racial discrimination. Similar to the Civil Rights Movement, those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement are also being brutalized. Times have changed, but as we can see they are not changing fast enough.”

Sophia Vannello: “We will now hear Ibram Kendi discuss the topic of racism.”

Excerpt from: “WATCH: You can’t eliminate inequity without a policy like reparations, Ibram X. Kendi said”