MTV VMAs 2016: Alicia Keys shares MLK-inspired poem

Since she had a moment at the mic for the 2016 MTV VMAs, Alicia Keys decided to mark an important anniversary.

After taking the stage to “Empire State of Mind,” Keys reminded the crowd at Madison Square Garden that it had been 53 years to the day since Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. 

Alicia Keys ascended the stage, makeup-free as usual, and she talked about the 53rd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech before she recited her own poem, turning it into a song halfway through:

“If war is holy and sex is obscene, then we’ve got it twisted in this lucid dream.
Baptized in boundaries, schooled in sin, divided by difference, sexuality and skin.

“[Sings] Mmm, so we can fear each other, hate each other, we can make these walls.
We can build these walls between each other, baby, blow by blow and brick by brick.
Keep yourself locked in, yourself locked.

“Or maybe we could love somebody.
Maybe we could care a little more.
Maybe we could love somebody instead of polishing the bombs of holy war.”

She then thanked the crowd reminded them that “all women and men are created equal” before handing the Best Male Video awards to Calvin Harris for “This is What You Came For,” his latest collaboration with Rihanna.