While accepting his Oscar alongside rapper Common for their song “Glory” (from Selma), multiple Grammy-winning musician John Legend caused a stir when he called out America’s current high rate of incarceration for black men.
“The struggle for justice is right now,” he said, comparing the rate of imprisonment to pre-Civil Rights Era segregation. Since then, he’s emerged as a serious advocate for prison reform and racial justice, founding Free America, an initiative to combat mass incarceration.
Over the weekend, Legend appeared on CNN’s State of the Union to discuss the initiative and along with related topics. The interview touches on the experiences of Legend’s own family with the prison system, the national uproar about police use of excessive force against unarmed black men in city after city, the protests in Baltimore (which some protesters claim received minimal coverage in the mainstream press, especially compared with that of the White House Correspondents Dinner), and his Oscars speech. Watch it above.