Last night I had the opportunity to attend Common’s book tour at the Riverside Church in Harlem, New York. It was a full house and despite arriving a bit early, the lines wrapped around the building and across the block. It was packed. Attendees lined up, passes in hand, ready to buy books and hear from the musician, actor, and activist– Common. He opened up like never before and his book is out today, May 7 (link below).
Common—the Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe–winning musician, actor, and activist—follows up his New York Times bestselling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with this inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can help build and heal communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.
The event opened up with a personal dialogue of a phone conversation between his daughter, Omoye, and himself. She called him one night distressed and frustrated saying ‘Growing up you were never there, you don’t listen.’ This made him question his role as a father.
Common admitted that he missed out on his daughter’s formative years, stating he was ‘too busy working.’ This conversation with his daughter sparked the idea for the book. And in the moments that followed, he realized it was time to wake up and work on being a better dad, and a better person, for both himself and his daughter.
The night was then followed by a live performance and a conversation with an audience member where they discussed a time she fell short. Narrating experiences of sexual abuse and other painful memories from his childhood, Common added to the audience interaction by discussing many such incidences for the first time publicly. The book touches upon several experiences where Common states, ‘We are all human and we experience failures and shortcomings, whether it’s in our personal or professional lives, there are places we can grow and learn from.’
One of the most touching and honest parts of the evening was when Common stated to the audience, “As a black man, it’s important that I talk about these issues because it’s often undiscussed in our community. In the black and brown community, we don’t talk about therapy. We don’t talk about mental health. We don’t talk about these issues in ways that we could. Mindfulness and therapy has helped me and I’m here to tell you that taking care of yourself is the new black. It is good for your career, your health, and your home. I wanted to use my platform to create a space for people who have experienced some of the things I have been through with the hopes to help them heal as well.”
Common dives deep into several aspects of personal growth. Some of the main topics that were highlighted last evening were:
Mental Health: It is important to take care of both our mind and body equally and to be open to receiving and seeking help. It doesn’t matter who we are or how high our role, or position is, we all struggle and it’s important that we get the help we need.
Forgiveness: Practicing love, compassion and forgiveness towards others will free us, no matter how difficult an experience may have been. If we love from our core, we can solve most of the world’s problems and our own, today.
Starting over: We can always start over. Whether it’s in a relationship or in our career, building ourselves back up is a part of life. If we’re frustrated with where things are at, sometimes our new idea, job, or opportunity is a medium to help us heal and grow.The idea for the book and writing was just that, a way to help Common rebuild, but also begin the healing process.
“Being open and honest is a part of the healing process.” The night then closed with another piece from Common and a personal excerpt from his new book, Let Love Have the Last Word. It’s in the darkest place, we find our light. If you’re in a dark place, use that place to find the light within you and to rebuild yourself and your career. He hopes this book will help people experiencing unsurfaced pain and inspire young people to lead with love in their journey and career so they may leave behind a better world than we’ve found it today.
He echoed, in the words of Rumi, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
Let love in. In your career, in your home and in your own life – let love win.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible! Huge thank you to Sourav Nandi for helping edit and the entire Think Common Entertainment team for all you do.
If you’d like to learn more about the book, read here: Common Reveals He Was Molested In New Book—And Actress Laura Dern Helped Him Recall the Childhood Trauma
Let Love Have the Last Word by Common is available now, released today, May 7. Purchase the Book here ———>>> https://www.amazon.com/Let-Love-Have-Last-Word/dp/1501133152