Critically acclaimed U.S. hip-hop artist, actor and civil rights activist ‘Common’ wants to use the spotlight of fame to create change….beyond simply making music. And he does it, by getting involved in his community.
A Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning artist, Common also started the non-profit group “Common Ground Foundation” with the goal of exposing underserved, inner-city youth to new opportunities using creative arts as the catalyst.
“We have to expose young people to other ideas, other careers, Common said. “Even if it’s entertainment, you don’t have to be the person in front of the camera to be important to the entertainment industry.”
‘Common’: The civil rights movement in the United StatesA Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winning artist, Common also started the non-profit group “Common Ground Foundation” with the goal of exposing underserved, inner-city youth to new opportunities using creative arts as the catalyst.
Growing up on the south side of Chicago and raised by a single mother, Common calls himself a Good Samaritan; saying if he sees people in need, he can’t just leave them behind.
“I’ve learned from my mother, who I got to see firsthand as an educator and as a person who cared for other human beings, just embrace students, embrace people from our neighborhood and embrace some of my friends who didn’t have parents around, and that really influenced me.” he told Mike Walter our Los Angeles studios.
This year Common portrayed civil rights activist James Bevel in the film, “Selma”.
The film tells the story of the historic 1965 civil rights marches from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery where African-Americans demanded their right to register to vote.
It’s remembered as a turning point in the 1960’s U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
It’s a role Common says has changed his life and a movie with a message that is still relevant 50 years later.
“We can see the journey hasn’t ended, “ Common said. “Young people are being killed in the streets.”
Common joined Mike Walter on this episode of Full Frame to discuss the modern civil rights movement.