Written By: Ishton W. Morton – August 22nd, 2020
On Thursday night, August 20th, 2020 John Legend and Common helped to secure the ending of the 2020 Democratic National Convention with a performance of “When the Glory Comes” their theme subsequent to the 2014 Civil Rights drama Selma.
Phenomenally, the song “When the Glory Comes” that the two brothers John Legend, Common performed at 2020 The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Convention in Honor of our legendary Brother John Lewis was written in the context of Isaiah 54:17. It was exceedingly touching and comforting.
Isaiah 54:17 says; “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
However, let us look at Isaiah 54:14 -16, just before Isaiah 54:17. It reads as follows: (14) In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee. (15) Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake, and (16) Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
Yes! Their performance was extremely powerful and fittingly dedicated to the late John Lewis, who died last month. Yes! He was an enormous instrumental figure in the Civil Rights movement during the Sixties.
From Monday, August 17th, 2020 I have been persistently glued to the TV watching the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
As with all performances at the 2020 DNC, the “Glory” rendition followed Covid-19 guidelines and was taped prior to the ceremony, but Legend and Common were given a full stage and a choir for the song. At the end of the rousing performance, Legend stood up from his piano and he and Common threw up the Black Power fist as a final gesture toward racial justice.
Subsequently, “A Change Is Gonna Come” was written by the American recording artist Sam Cooke. Reportedly, it initially appeared on Cooke’s album Ain’t That Good News, released about mid-February in 1964 by RCA Victor; a slightly edited version of the recording was released as a single on Tuesday, December 22nd, 1964.
Although history tends to give all credit to Sam Cooke for the song “A Change Is Gonna Come” but in reality the song was written by Audrey Motaung, Sam Cooke, and Steve Wieters. “A Change Is Gonna Come” is tremendously iconic, anthemic and enormously prophetic. To hear Sam Cooke’s rendition CLICK: #SamCooke #AChangeIsGonnaCome #Vevo.
Here is a bird’s eye-view into Cooke’s suffrage and “A Change Is Gonna Come.” Reportedly on Tuesday, October 8th, 1963, in route to Shreveport, Louisiana, Cooke called ahead to the Holiday Inn North to make reservations for himself and his wife Barbara. However when him and his group arrived, the desk clerk glanced nervously at them and explained there were no vacancies.
While his brother Charles protested, Sam was furious, yelling and demanding to see the manager. He continued refusing to leave until he received an answer. Subsequently his wife nudged him in attempts to calm him down, telling him, “They’ll kill you,” to which he responded, “They ain’t gonna kill me, because I’m Sam Cooke.”
Eventually they persuaded Cooke to leave, the group drove away calling out insults and blaring their horns. However, when they arrived at the Castle Motel on Sprague Street downtown, the police were waiting for them, arresting them on charges of disturbing the peace. Meanwhile, The New York Times ran a UPI report the next day, headlined “Negro Band Leader Held in Shreveport,” African-Americans were extremely outraged.
Reportedly, “A Change Is Gonna Come” was a real departure for Cooke, in the sense that it was undoubtedly the first time that he addressed social problems in a direct and explicit way.”
The Chicks opened the DNC on Thursday night with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” following prior performances by Billie Eilish, Stephen Stills, Billy Porter, Jennifer Hudson , Prince Royce and Maggie Rogers and Leon Bridges.
Jennifer Hudson cannot be denied. She is a masterful performer. Her rendition “A Change Is Gonna Come” up-lifting and warm, yet it presents the inner pains and suffrage of the song writers.
Nevertheless, Legend has been politically active over the past few months; in addition to “Glory,” he also performed on Night Two of the convention his song “Never Break” from the album Bigger Love — and, last month, he took part in a digital fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. At the beginning of the George Floyd Protests, he joined Common and other artists, including Lizzo, the Weeknd and Jane Fonda, in signing an open letter to defund the police.