In a ceremony strongly attuned to victim’s rights, the 57th annual Grammy Awards featured two performances dedicated to the Martin Luther King drama “Selma” as well as references to Ferguson shooting victim Michael Brown on Sunday night.
President Obama also appeared briefly in a public service announcement to stop domestic violence.
“It’s on us, all of us, to create a culture where violence isn’t tolerated, where survivors are supported and where all our young people — men and women — can go as far as their talents and their dreams will take them,” he said in the taped message.
“Selma,” meanwhile, took center stage at the Grammys on Sunday night after being relatively snubbed by the Academy Awards.
At the closing of the show, Beyonce took the stage to perform “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” a song from the “Selma” soundtrack.
After her performance, singers Legend and Common put on a powerful performance of “Glory,” another “Selma” track, which is nominated for best original song at the Oscars.
During the performance, Common held his hands in the air in a ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ pose to honor Ferguson teen Michael Brown.
Earlier in the broadcast, Pharrell and his dancers did the same, mirroring the Ferguson protest during their performance of the Grammy-winning song “Happy.”
The February ceremony, which ran on CBS, takes place during Black History Month and a few weeks after Martin Luther King’s birthday.
Prior to Sunday’s telecast, “60 Minutes” featured a lengthy segment on Paramount’s “Selma,” asking director Ava DuVernay about the movie’s controversial snubs at the Oscars.
“Over the last, I don’t know, three months since we debuted the picture in November how many people came up to me, “You are gonna be the first black woman to blah, blah, blah,” she said.”Every time it was said to me I just moved it aside because I never, I never thought it would happen anyway. So when the nomination didn’t come, it didn’t do damage to me. I think for David (Oyelowo) – that – that hurt my feelings.”