'I Am the Unarmed Black Kid Who Maybe Needed a Hand, But Instead Was Given a Bullet'

By Chris Hoenig


The Golden Globes may be Hollywood’s biggest party, but it was Selma that brought one of the awards ceremony’s most moving moments.

Rapper Common stole the spotlight with his acceptance speech for Best Original Score, which he won along with John Legend for the song “Glory” that they penned for the movie.

“The first day I stepped on the set of Selma, I began to feel this was bigger than a movie,” he said. “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 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,” he added, referencing last month’s murder of two NYPD officers.

He also took time to thank Ava DuVernay, the first Black female director nominated for a Golden Globe in the directing category.

Selma has awakened my humanity,” Common said. “And I thank you, Ava. You are a superhero. You use the art to elevate us all, to bring us together.”

Hopes had been high for the Oprah-produced movie—about Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965 at the peak of the civil-rights movement—as it had been nominated in four categories, including three major awards.

But Legend and Common took home the only trophy of the night for the film. The Best Drama award, arguably the biggest prize of the night, went to Boyhood, which also beat out Selma in the Best Director category, as Richard Linklater won ahead of DuVernay.

Actor David Oyelowo—who portrayed MLK Jr. and also starred as Louis Gaines opposite Oprah in Lee Daniels’ The Butler—lost to Eddie Redmayne from The Theory of Everything for Best Actor in a Drama.

Tambor Thanks Transgender Community

Last year, Jared Leto’s Oscars acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor was met with mixed reactions. Leto, who portrayed a transgender character in Dallas Buyers Club, dedicated his award to “those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love.”

This year, Jeffrey Tambor received high praise for a similar theme.

Tambor took to the stage after winning Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical, for his portrayal of transgender character Maura Pfefferman in Transparent.

“This is so big. This is much bigger than me,” he said as he thanked the show’s creative team. “Rhys Ernst, Zackary Drucker and Jenny Boylan, thank you. You led me through the steps to find more of Jeffrey than I’ve ever known in my entire life.”

He then dedicated the award to the transgender community.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for your courage. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your patience. And thank you for letting us be part of the change.”

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