Common – Black America Again: The Album Aims At Empowering Black Women And The Youth
« You know, one way of solving a lot of problems that we’ve got is lettin’ a person feel that they’re important.
And a man can’t get himself together until he knows who he is,
And be proud of what and who he is and where he come from, and where he come from… » – James Brown
Common’s album Black America Again is a hand given to the people, to give more power, to ensure them that they matter, that they’re important, and that they can influence significant changes in our history and society.
« WE are rewriting a Black American Story »
The first people Common wishes to empower are the women. Throughout his album and career, Common has always celebrated the womanhood.
From songs such as The Light, or Faithful (what if God was a her), Women are on a pedestal. In September, he celebrated the love for everyday Black women with a special documentary, showcasing his new song Love Star.
Finally the art cover makes it even more explicit, the double picture of this woman, embellishing her Afro, a visual poem for the Black Lady. Tracks like Unfamiliar emphasizes the idea of love for women and of how fly they are:
You too fly, never should you hide your wings
The awakening, let’s keep breaking things
Breaking rules, breaking laws, breaking through Breaking walls
Common’s inspiration is made of « a mixture of love laughter scripture ».
Lady In The Short Film – Black America Again
This short film shares a message you need rewind and watch several times to it well. Visual poem of a rapper, actor, activist, it draws different portraits: The portraits of the Black Youth, of Black Women, of the Streets.
The lady we see crossing the streets in the beginning of the short film is another illustration of Common’s consideration for womanhood. She plays an important role, wearing White, and walking with the respect of everybody down there.
Given her Negro Spiritual chant and her standing, proud and loud, the words she pronounces – Lay Down – are contradictory with what she inspires, like an oxymoron.
Her singing and stepping are synonymous of awakening, her white clothes suggest Life and a rebirth, and make believe she’s like an angel, God’s vessel, guardian of the block she’s walking in.
Women give life to kids and the youth is the future.
Letter To The Free is the kind of songs that inspire to be actor for Freedom. Yet the actual actors are these kids who need to believe they value and are more important than they sometimes think.
For the new rise up will come with the new generation.
Indeed, in 2005 Common’s song Be, the poet states:
« Waiting for the Lord to rise
I look into my daughter’s eyes and realize that I’mma learn through her
The Messiah might even return through her
[…] I gotta change the world through her »
In other words, Black Women and Black Youth are the ones to Rewrite History,
To end modern slavery, and to find real Freedom.
It’s Your World – Black America Again