Film Score Friday: Selma

I try my best to include Black History Month in my daughters’ lives. I find it important to include all races and cultures when teaching them about history and our society. They are old enough to know that I don’t sugar-coat my lessons. We speak openly and honestly about our country’s history.

This month, I wanted to be sure they get exposed to film scores by black composers, and maybe some black directors as well.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Music: Jason Moran

Not only is this movie scored and directed by black artists…but the director is also a woman!

I haven’t seen a lot of movies about Martin Luther King, Jr., but “Selma” hit me hard. It’s based on the 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery to peacefully protest voting rights for blacks. The story was powerful. The acting was phenomenal. The music was inspiring.

Jason Moran, who composed the score, is a jazz pianist and this was his first film score. He portrayed the connection between jazz music’s origin and activism. His music is very subtle (in a good way) in the movie, but the orchestrations come at all the right times.

On the official soundtrack, only 3 of Moran’s tracks make an appearance. My favorite of the 3 is “Final Speech.”

The song most associated with “Selma” is “Glory” by Common and John Legend. This is a protest anthem referring to the Ferguson protests in 2014, the year the movie was released. (Common also appears in “Selma” as Civil Rights Movement leader James Bevel.) The song won Best Original Song at both the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, as well as Best Song written for Visual Media at the Grammy Awards.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s