The Democratic National Convention made a strong pitch on Day 3 to convince voters why they must elect Joe Biden. One such presenter was Jennifer Hudson, who closed out the night with a rousing performance of Sam Cooke‘s “A Change Is Gonna Come.“
The two-time Grammy winner belted out the soulful anthem moments after Senator Kamala Harris made history by becoming the first Black and Asian American woman to run on a major party ticket for vice president.
Unlike other performers on Wednesday night, the American Idol alum opted not to offer a lengthy speech in support of Biden and Harris. Instead, she stood atop an empty stairwell at Harold Washington Cultural Center in Chicago and chose to let the song do the talking.
Cooke penned “A Change Is Gonna Come” in 1963 after being turned away from a motel, which was whites-only at the time, and was later arrested by police for disturbing the peace.
Cooke wrote that song to speak out against the discrimination he and his community faced.
That song continues to find meaning 56 years later, most recently in the Black Lives Matter movement and the push to defund the police in the wake of George Floyd‘s death, which sparked nationwide protests against racial profiling and systemic racism.
Flanked by two pianists and a saxophonist, Hudson’s powerful voice echoed off the empty halls to officially close out the convention’s penultimate night. She ended her performance by marching away from the microphone and heading down the stairs while belting out the final notes.
This was Hudson’s second time performing at the DNC, the first time was in 2016 when Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination for president.
By Megan Stone
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