Photo credit: Kevin Scanlon /CPI
Over the weekend, Ava DuVernay added winning four Emmys to her already impressive résumé. The visionary filmmaker’s feature documentary “13th”, which explores the connection between slavery and mass incarceration, took home awards for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, Writing for Nonfiction Programs, Outstanding Motion Design, and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Letter to the Free” (written by Common, Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins).
Photo credit: David Livingston
The win for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics makes Common one Tony award away from achieving EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status.
“I want to thank God first and foremost,” Common said. “Any time I get a chance to work with Ava DuVernay it leads to something positive, something strong.”
In 2015, the rapper won an Oscar, along with John Legend, for Best Original Song for “Glory”, which was the theme song for DuVernay’s breakthrough film,”Selma”.
While DuVernay was accepting the award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, she took the opportunity to shed even more light on mass incarceration.
“It’s nights like these when you are able to amplify a story with this kind of attention that make me happy,” DuVernay said. “This is an evergreen story. It’s ongoing. It wasn’t just something that we dropped last year. It shouldn’t be forgotten. There are still 2.3 million people behind bars. We over-incarcerate in this country — the most incarcerated nation in the world. Now, more than ever, it’s important for people who believe in a different way of policing and criminal justice to make our voices heard.”
DuVernay added: “I want to thank, and think about tonight the hundreds of thousands of families who are waiting for their loved ones to come home. Mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, who don’t know where their loved one is. Unsung heroes of a struggle that has not a lot to do with them, but has a lot to do with how they live each day.”
Ava, thank you for using your gifts and talents to highlight important social issues and your platform as a call to action. Congratulations to the entire “13th” crew on their much deserved wins!