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The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Artist, actor Common talks self-love, giving back to the community

Grammy-winning+artist+Common+encourages+the+audience+to+give+back+to+the+community+during+An+Evening+with+Common.
Grammy-winning artist Common encourages the audience to give back to the community during An Evening with Common.
February 19, 2020 | Juan Ibarra | multimedia editor
Photos Courtesy UTA. Grammy-winning artist Common encourages the audience to give back to the community during An Evening with Common.

Music artist and actor Common spoke to students and faculty Feb. 11 during An Evening with Common as part of the Mavericks Speaker Series at UTA.

TR student activities invited students to attend the speech and watch as Common spoke about the importance of giving back to the community through a series of short stories about his experiences.

“We all have a purpose in this world,” Common said. “And we all have the opportunity to pursue it with all we have.”

One of Common’s main points was the difficulty in recognizing one’s purpose and fully understanding the truth about their goal in life.

Common said he feels that rapping was his true purpose as he explained he had written his first rap at the age of 10.

“Little did I know that I had found my purpose,” he said. “It would be the vessel that would take me to places that I would have never thought about going.”

Throughout his speech, the point that continued to surface was the service we all owe to each other.

While visiting a prison, Common said as he walked through the hallways, he heard a man call out to him and say, “I like what you’re doing, but make sure you give back.”

“You’ll never know where you’re gonna learn from,” he said.

Common walks down a line of fans and signs copies of his book after his speech at UTA. TCC students had the opportunity to watch the award-winning artist speak about topics like self-care.

He mentioned the fact that the man who told him to give back would never see the light of day again, yet he reminded Common to give back to the community that man would never return to.

Common told the audience that giving service to others isn’t about doing what is right to only those we agree with but to everyone. He mentioned that helping others can come from a difficult place.

“We gotta get uncomfortable with our service,” Common said. “That means sitting down with people who you may think is on the opposite end of you.”

Although the issues spoken about during that evening were universal, having a celebrity talk about the topic could be seen as just an easy way to sell tickets. According to some students, even if the allure of seeing a celebrity live was what immediately pulled them to the event, the message is still important.

“If you got a message to get out, I don’t think the face really matters,” TR student Derric Jones said. “The message should be stronger than the face.”

For some people, it may require a recognizable face to bring them in to hear the message.

“Some people don’t have any type of guidance, so it’s good if someone that they like to watch can give them guidance,” TR student Marc Jimenez said. “Some people need it.”

TR student Tristian Carpenter said she believes it’s good that Common is using his celebrity status to promote an important message.

“It sucks that sometimes you need celebrities to be the face of something in order for people to care, but he didn’t have to do that,” she said. “He could just stay at home with his Grammys and be watching his movies.”

According to students, Common’s message resonated with them because everyone can relate to self-care and doing good things for others.

“The same things he spoke on, those are the same traditions that I hold,” Jones said.

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