Tag Archives Common

Common & Lionsgate To Develop Limited Series Based On Zora Neale Hurston Novel ‘Barracoon’

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Common and Lionsgate will be developing a limited television event series based on the New York Times best-selling novel Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo.” The pair has acquired the rights to the recently discovered Zora Neale Hurston written novel, according to Deadline. Common will be producing through his Freedom Road Productions company.

From the author of Their Eyes Were Watching, Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” tells the true story of 86-year-old Cudjo Lewis, one of the last known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade, abducted from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States in 1927. It is in Plateau, Alabama that Hurston interviews Lewis, who provides a firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage 50 years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In the three months that Hurston spent in Plateau speaking in depth with Lewis, she was able to brilliantly illuminate the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it.


This project will be the second of Lionsgate and Freedom Road’s TV deal. They are already developing Saturday Night Knife and Gun Club, starring and produced by Common.

Meet The 10 Activists Who Joined Andra Day And Common On Stage At The 2018 Oscars

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If you were tuned into the 2018 Oscars last night (March 4), you witnessed a powerful performance of “Stand Up For Something” by Andra Day and Common. The musicians were joined on stage by 10 activists from around the world, who are each advocating to bring awareness to different political and social issues.

“I am truly honored to share the stage with such powerful people. People who work, sacrifice and have fought through their personal pain to make the world a better place,” Andra says in a statement. “Everyone’s contribution is important, but Common and I wanted to show people who are working everyday in the trenches to transform perceptions, circumstances, legislation, social and political landscapes, and bring hope to the hopeless.”

Black Lives Matter, #MeToo movement, and the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting are just a few of the campaigns calling for change, especially in a world where so much change is needed. Meet the 10 activists below.

1. Alice Brown Otter – Standing Rock Activist

2. Bana Alabed – Syrian Refugee & Activist

3. Bryan Stevenson – Equal Justice Initiative

4. Cecile Richards – Planned Parenthood

5. Dolores Huerta – Dolores Huerta Foundation, United Farm Workers of America

6. Janet Mock – Writer & Trans Activist

7. José Andrés – World Central Kitchen (Serving Meals In Puerto Rico Since Hurricane Maria)

8. Nicole Hockley – Sandy Hook Promise

9. Patrisse Cullors  – Black Lives Matter

10. Tarana Burke – “Founder of Me Too Movement”

Common Surprises Harlem School With $10,000 For School Supplies

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Rapper, actor, and activist Common is always giving back to the community whether it be with his music, protesting, or donating his time and money to great causes and initiatives he continues to be a positive force in our society and culture. The lyricist surprised a group of New York students by donating $10,000 dollars to help teachers raise money for supplies.

The students were beyond elated to find out that Common came to visit their school. Common was on-site with his mother, Dr. Mahalia Hines who is an educator and member of the Chicago Board of Education. Dr. Mahalia Hines said she remembered having to spend her own money to buy essential materials for her classroom and she isn’t the only teacher who has had to do this. Many teachers end up spending their own money on school supplies because the schools budget does not fulfill their necessary needs.

Common encouraged the students to keep their grades up and to persevere – in school and in life.

Great work Common and Dr. Mahalia Hines and shout out to all of the teachers out there who do whatever it takes to help their kids succeed!


Source: nbcnewyork.com

Common Joins Van Jones and ‘Green For All’ to #FixThePipes in Flint

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It’s the three year anniversary of the poisonous pipes installation in Flint, Michigan and despite popular belief, the issue has not yet been completely resolved. Although the city of Flint reached a settlement with the State of Michigan, the plan does not provide all Flint families with clean water immediately. They are still waiting.

Because of the continued negligence, Green For All (GFA), a national climate justice organization, launched the #FixThePipes campaign. This campaign aids Flint families in getting access to clean water right now. Author and activist, Van Jones and legendary Hip-Hop artist Common are on board to endorse #FixThePipes and help resolve this issue.

“One year after Flint dominated headlines across America, families there still don’t have access to clean water. Many still can’t drink or bathe in their own homes. It’s just plain wrong to make families wait any longer. We’re launching the #FixThePipes campaign this Earth Day to help Flint families now. If we come together and act quickly, we can finally get clean water to Flint families.” – Vien Truong, director of Green For All and deputy CEO of Dream Corps

The #FixThePipes campaign has a goal of raising $500,000 to put the bill for removing lead-contaminated pipes at $10,000 per home. Green For All plans to collaborate with other celebrities, influencers, activists, and organizations in efforts to help raise money and fix the pipes for Flint families right now.

>Click here to donate: https://www.greenforall.org

Common Interviews Serena Williams About Her Legacy On ESPN’s ‘The Undefeated In-Depth’

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Last night (December 18), ESPN’s “The Undefeated” presented an incredible interview special from two icons in their given field.

The interviewer was legendary emcee Common, who had the pleasure of sitting down with the world’s greatest women’s tennis star, and one of the best athletes the sports world has ever seen, Serena Williams. The two had an important discussion about race, gender, fame, sports & how to deal with it all.

Both of these two have been staples in the African American community for decades and both have faced turmoil and stress on their journeys. During this interview, they touch on that ideology and speak on how race, gender and fame played a significant role in their respective careers.

Acknowledging the disadvantages women athletes have in the eyes of the spectator, Serena feels things would be different if she was a male athlete. “I think if I was a man, I would have been in that conversation a long time ago, like six or seven years ago,” she says.

However, Serena is as humble as it comes for someone many deem as the greatest to do it. Being humble has kept her grounded, and while many others say she’s number 1, Serena says, “You will never hear me say ‘I’m the greatest’.”

As a young girl, Serena says her father helped her understand the concept of “racism” and prepared her for what was destined to come as she continued to rise to fame. Having that knowledge as a young girl helped the tennis star, and she credits her father tenfold for that.

All of this and more was discussed in last night’s “The Undefeated In-Depth” interview special. Watch a candid conversation between Common and Serena above. #BlackExcellence, once again.

Common and Malik Yusef Celebrate Earth Day with ‘Trouble in the Water’

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Today (April 22) we show love to our planet in celebration of Earth Day. To shed light of the issues of climate change, the Flint water crisis and more Common stars in Trouble in the Water, a production by Malik Yusef.

The new video is a release from the Hip Hop Caucus People’s Climate Music project, which tag teams with your favorite artist to work against the impact of environmental issues. While addressing various subjects and issues, the project enlists the help of the public to sign a petition in efforts to obtain more financial assistance to those that were impacted by the Flint water crisis.

Check out the video below and be sure to support the cause.

Common On Hillary Clinton Becoming President: “I think it could be something powerful.”

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Hillary Clinton is campaigning harder than ever and it is noticeable that she is serious about being the first woman president. She has recently gained the support of rapper and actor Common.

During his interview with the Grio Common made some very kind remarks about Clinton and her aspiration to be the next president.

Common stated that , “I think it would be wonderful if we would get a woman in for president. I think it could be something powerful, in that I think Hillary is more aligned with what I believe would be a better president than Donald Trump. She definitely strikes me as someone that would serve our country and the world better as a president, so that’s where I would put my vote right now.”

Recently rapper T.I.made some distasteful remarks about women running for president but Common’s support for Clinton shows that men are backing her up and we are excited to see how her campaign unfolds.

Common Motivates High School Students To Attend College

Common is not only an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe winner, but he also pays the way for the younger generation.

Yesterday (September, 19th), the award-winning rapper lent his voice of encouragement at an event in Los Angeles to inspire students to go to college and pursue their dreams.

ABC 7 Los Angeles, reports that Common was a guest speaker at the Fulfillment Fund’s Destination College event in UCLA, as he gave high school students the information necessary, guidance and resource to graduate high school and continue onto to college.

The “Testify” vocalist tells ABC 7, “Sometimes you know you have kids that don’t even think about college really… This Destination College and the Fulfillment Fund is really saying, ‘hey, we can provide you with the opportunity to act, to get you access to college and a college education.’ I’m really in support of this because it’s doing great for kids who may not have had that exposure.” 

He continues by saying, “It’s really giving opportunities to kids who may not have the opportunity to know a lot about college. “It’s inspiring, to be honest.”

During half way into the event, Common even performed his Oscar-winning hit “Glory,” with  a group of local Los Angeles choir students.

There’s no doubt, Common gave hope to hundreds of local college-bond students to continue pursuing their college dreams, and for more information regarding The Fulfillment Fund, make sure to visit www.fulfillment.org.

Patti LaBelle, Common & More Team Up With The AIDS Healthcare Foundation & The ABACT For ‘Vote to End HIV: #BlackVotesMatter’ Concert & Initiative

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Live Civil readers are no doubt familiar with the civil unrest currently taking place across the country: “Black Lives Matter,” became a rallying cry as we recouped from the shock of Trayvon Martin, of Michael Brown, of Eric Garner, of Sandra Bland.

Simultaneously, we see African-Americans dis-proportionally represented in another statistic—HIV/AIDS transmissions. This needs to change.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the AHF Black AIDS Crisis Taskforce (ABACT) recently teamed up with Common, Patti LaBelle, Al Sharpton, The Prancing Elites, and Bree Newsome to host a “Vote 2 End HIV: #BlackVotesMatter” event on Thursday, August 6th in Atlanta. This event aims to start a conversation around what actions our community can take to end the cycle of unnecessary deaths.

We want YOU to join. What can you do?

#BlackVotesMatter: Voting is an effective way to have your voice heard in your community, influence policy, and fight for your rights. For more information on how to sign up to vote (and upcoming elections in your area), click here.

Get tested for HIV.
Knowing your status is a key way to take control of your health and support the health of your community. AHF offers free HIV testing in a variety of locations. Visit (http://www.aidshealth.org/locations?ml___postal_code=&ml___task=search_zip&ml___radius=25) to find a testing location near you. We’ve got your back.

Stay informed.
Follow AHF on Twitter and Instagram @aidshealthcare to stay up-to-date on our upcoming civil rights and sexual health initiatives.

Be a leader in your community.
Take to social media using the hashtags #Vote2EndHIV and #BlackVotesMatter to share information with your family and friends on how to take control of government policies and sexual health.

Common Celebrates Life with Transplant Fan

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Common has many titles under his belt, but the one that makes the most impact on Ola Ojewumi is an overall “amazing human being.”

Ola is a young lady who excitedly attended Common’s Washington, D.C. concert. Common notice the heart and kidney transplant recipient, Ola, in her wheelchair and thought nothing would be better than to serenade the young survivor. In the midst of all the commotion of the Grammy winning artist coming off stage just for her, she never imagined what he would do next.

The Selma actor gave lucky Ola her own spotlight time while he freestyled to her unique name. She divulged to Vibe he rapped, “Ola, girl so beautiful… I came to face it, she looking so fly and she rockin’ them braces. I’m telling you girl, Ola you gone be the black man’s wife because you are the light.”

Being able to celebrate her brave story with an astounding man, like Common, made the night that much more special.

Lyrics Appreciation 101: Why Drake Is Different

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If’ you visit our sister site KarenCivil.com (shame on you if you don’t), then you’re totally familiar with J. Tinsley’s feature “Catalog Catch Up“. Every week J. dissects songs from different artists’ catalogs and analyzes everything from what was going on when the song was popular, to how some of them played key roles in his life personally. We’d like to adopt something similar to that here but more specific to lyrics and really getting to the root of some great bars and verses from your favorite artists.

Jumping right in, our first segment is focused on Mr. Aubrey Drake Graham. A controversial child of the game, Drake’s So Far Gone revolutionized the mixtape atmosphere and as we wrote about before, very literally changed the way new artists enter the game and old artists come back. I say controversial because for so long Hip-Hop fans were staunch purists. Love and similar emotions were taboo unless you approached it like the rapper Common and his metaphorical love story I Used To Love H. E. R. Or like the Lost Boyz track Renee  where Mr. Cheeks masterfully built a story about losing his girlfriend to a shooting and instead of tears for his shorty, he poured liquor in her memory. So while I can’t think of a time where Drake mentioned actually crying, he’s always been the underdog in the sense that since day one he…basically…hasn’t been afraid to love these hoes.

A particular lyric that I was discussing with some followers on twitter comes from his song Trust Issues which you can listen to below. As a bit of background, this song is an unreleased track from the Take Care era and starts out with him singing some lyrics from his hit with DJ Khaled, I’m On One. That being said, the line that always gets me is “Kick game, run game, run it real good. But never, ever have my bitches sittin courtside.” Interpreted, it’s addressing the fact that while he isn’t necessarily the most faithful, or at least not monogamously dating, he still has the respect (I know, I know…) and consideration for the women he’s seeing not to make them spectators in the games he plays. This wouldn’t be noteworthy for me if he went back to talking about all the chicks he was knockin down, and tour bus groupies etc., etc. But the context of the song is him pouring out his feelings about disappointments with fake supporters and most importantly the struggle he faces with attempting to enjoy his celebrity but wanting more and not being able to invest freely due to…Trust issues.

Most anybody else would say thug it out, if you’re gonna be a dog be a dog, or be a man and date for what you’re actually looking for. This is cool if it works for you, but for those of us that live in the real world and understand that emotions aren’t anywhere near that black and white, he’s speaking for us. If you’ve ever wanted to be with more than one person at the same time for different reasons, but didn’t want them to be with anyone else, Drake gets you. If you’ve ever felt yourself taking a chance when everything else said not to “Dedicating time when I really can’t afford to be…” (JulyDrake ft. Jhene Aiko) Drake understands. 

In a world full of “real niggas” Drake realized that there was more than kilos (that you may or may not have been moving) and big booty bitches to be real about. Human emotion and relationship complexities were severely under represented and Drake stepped in and made us feel spoken for. Job well done for the kid from Toronto, now if he could finally adjust to being famous we might get him to explore some MORE topics that I’m too thug to address on my own.

Live Civil!

Common Partners w/ @ATT to Launch Smartphone Cases to Benefit Kids in Need

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Common latest collaboration isn’t appearing on any new album, mixtape or music blog.

The Chicago rapper has linked with AT&T and Case-Mate for the launch of a line of smartphone cases under his own Common Ground Foundation (CGF) last week (Feb. 28) via a launch event at AT&T’s MIchigan Avenue flagship store in Chi-Town. The cases feature graffiti-styled designs by local artists from the Chi and a percentage of each sale benefits CGF, to help better the lives of underprivileged youths through creative arts.

“We’re definitely there to support and empower our youth to fulfill their dreams,” said Common on Thursday, moments before the launch event kicked off. “When we partnered with Case-Mate we realized they want to support our foundation and do things within the community. And AT&T was on that same mission.”

The G.O.O.D. Music vet felt it was important to bring a hip-hop aesthetic to the cases, of which there are six designs.

“Case-Mate really came up with the idea that the designs will be based upon a graffiti and mosaic artistic perspective,” said Common. “I come from Chicago and the first way I learned to express myself artistically was through hip-hop–that’s the root of what I do regardless. I’ve never been a graffiti artist, but I have a lot of respect for all the elements of hip-hop, so its great for us to have cases that have something to do with hip-hop culture.”

The cases, which retail for $50 and are available for iPhone 5, iPhone 4/4S and Samsung Galaxy S III, will be sold exclusively at AT&T (click here to see all the models) And according to Common, there will be more designs down the line.

“This is just the first phase of what we’ll be doing,” Common said. “We actually wanna have artist submit ideas and like have different designers come in with ideas and we’ll pick from that. This is just the beginning.”



Taken from Vibe.com