Yesha Callahan

Kean University Cancels Common’s Commencement Speech

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Lonnie Rashid Lynn got a hard dose of reality this week after Kean University cancelled his commencement speech. On Monday, the university announced that Common would be speaking to the 2015 class, but quickly snatched it away after New Jersey State Police complained about his “A Song For Assata”.

Susan Kayne, a university spokesman, said their announcement was made prematurely. In other words, the NJ State Police bullied them.

“The students expressed interest in Common because he composed the Oscar-winning song `Glory’ with our prior commencement speaker John Legend,” Kayne said to The Record. “While we respect his talent, Kean is pursuing other speaker options.”

Shakur, who was convicted of killing a NJ State Trooper and fled to Cuba, was the subject of Common’s touching song, but the police in NJ still have her marked.

“What is troubling here is that a state university that is subsidized with state taxpayer funds, is once again being questioned on their decision-making at the highest levels,” Chris Burgos, president of the State Troopers Fraternal Association of New Jersey, said according to The Record.

  1. April 2, 2015 - Reply

    Man, how is being apart of the “new black” working out for you Common? Somebody should have extended a hand in love to you, no?

    • April 2, 2015 - Reply


      I agree just two weeks ago he was just talking about how we all need to sing kumbya, hugs and kisses and all this good he got his wake up call.

      • April 2, 2015 - Reply


        Exactly. Many naive people will experience the wake up call.

  2. April 2, 2015 - Reply

    So much for peace extended hand

  3. April 2, 2015 - Reply

    This action comes down to politics. This action is why we can’t forget the past and we should never just extend a hand in “love” to the system oppressing us as black people.

    • April 2, 2015 - Reply

      Thank you. We are supposed to forget about our ancestors suffering 4 centuries of evil, but they can’t forget about one state trooper who lost his life.

      • April 2, 2015 - Reply


        You’re welcome Sister.

        Common made many conscious records back in the day. It is really disappointing to witness Common capitulating like this. We should never forget one drop of blood that our ancestors shed. Our ancestors endured unspeakable pain and suffering. They are our heroes and they inspire us everyday. I think about my ancestors every single day. In the eyes of white supremacist racists, the life one state trooper is worth more than the life of one black human being.

        #Black Lives Matter.

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