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Larry Buford: The Movie ‘Selma’ – ‘Glory’ in Our Lifetime (Review)

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*Let me first start with the theme song: ‘Glory’ by Common and John Legend is a befitting song for the movie – and vice versa. I heard a little Sam Cooke playing on the radio during the scene where the characters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and SNCC’s John Lewis were riding along in the car. I was hoping the music soundtrack would be relevant for our new generation, and it was. The ‘Glory’ lyrics include the current outcry ‘hands up in Ferguson’ alluding to the Michael Brown tragedy in Missouri.

‘Selma’ offers this generation a chance to go down deep and ask itself: Have things really changed that much over the last 50 years? The movie should put to rest the notion of some young blacks that: ‘If I was back in them days, man I wouldn’t take all that from them white folks!’ If you haven’t already – go see the movie…it’ll show you some reality that existed in our lifetime; and guess what? You’re experiencing the remnants of it even today! You’re protesting today with the same passion and powerlessness that was felt then. The only difference is you’re standing on the shoulders of those who took the brunt of the initial resistance, so that you can protest without fear for your life and those near and dear to you. They couldn’t breathe then, but you can breathe now. Take advantage of your advantage!

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The powerful scene where the four little innocent Sunday school girls were killed in the Birmingham church bombing has never been depicted on screen as it is in this movie. It’s shocking and revealing of the stark evil that existed in those segregated Jim Crow states. If any good came out of that tragedy, it was that it drew worldwide attention, and galvanized America to clean up its own backyard while in the midst of trying to clean up others’ in a foreign land called Vietnam. The movie pays homage to those whites and other groups who came along side, sacrificed and even died for the cause of racial equality.

Make no mistake – if the same dark spirit of bigotry can come so blatantly against the first black president of the United States; where does that leave you? Wake up young people and realize it’s not about the ‘get rich or die trying’ mindset. How about ‘get dignity or die trying?’ It’s about appreciating what sacrifices were made for you, and taking on responsibilities like voting. You are the future generation those courageous and determined people were marching for! Don’t let them down!

Motivation: The driver behind the one paying no attention when the traffic light turns green, is just as bad if he does not honk his horn. Let’s move it!

‘Selma’ is a great movie! If I were to write only a one word review, it would be BRAVO!!!

Editor’s note: Gospel great Andre Crouch passed away on January 8, 2015 – the day before the wide release of ‘Selma.’ A song he wrote ‘Soon And Very Soon’ can also be heard on the ‘Selma’ soundtrack.

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