Months following the announcement that Kean University had canceled his commencement speech, rapper Common is addressing the drama. On May 21, the Suicide Squad actor was set to deliver a speech to the class of 2015 at Kean University, but it abruptly came to an end when New Jersey State troopers voiced their issue over Common’s 2000 track “A Song for Assata,” a song penned about Assata Shakur, who was convicted in 1977 of killing Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. Assata eventually escaped from prison and has been living in Cuba as a fugitive.
During a recent interview with Chicago’s WGCI 107.5 radio host Kendra G, the “Glory” recording artist gushed about delivering a commencement speech at the City Colleges of Chicago graduation (pictured above) and why he thinks Kean University had a change of heart.
“I was disappointed I couldn’t speak for the students because they were expressing their wants to have me come out and speak. I also recognize that things that I stand for and believe in, if someone doesn’t want me there for that reason, then I’m not going to go.
“If someone is saying we don’t want you hear because I supported Assata Shakur, who is someone who I believe to be an innocent. Who was a Freedom Fighter. A woman who was a part of the Blank Panthers. Because I did a song about her, if they don’t want me to speak at a college because of that reason, then I mean, I still support her,” Common said.
Although the Grammy winner was disappointed, it is clear he is not budging when it comes to his beliefs and we applaud him for that.