Kean University, which is located in Union, New Jersey, announced earlier this week that Common will no longer be the commencement speaker at this year’s graduation because of a song he made in support of famed and at-large Black activist Assata Shakur.
The university made the announcement on Monday, but had changed its decision by announcing it via Twitter on Tuesday. University spokesperson Susan Kanye says that the school acted prematurely by making the announcement on social media.
“The students expressed interest in Common because he composed the Oscar-winning song ‘Glory’ with our prior commencement speaker John Legend. While we respect his talent, Kean is pursuing other speaker options.”
New Jersey State Police expressed concerns about the Academy Award winning entertainer because of his “Song For Assata”, which was recorded over 15 years ago. Assata Shakur, who is also known as Joanne Chesimard, was convicted in 1977 of killing Trooper Werner Foerster four years prior. Shakur escaped from prison and was granted political asylum by the communist country of Cuba where she resides today.
-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)