Common Leads Socially-Conscious Concert in Sacramento

More than 25,000 people gathered in Sacramento on the West steps of the State Capitol for a concert focused on social justice issues. The Imagine Justice concert featured Common, J. Cole, Goapele, Andra Day, Ledisi and a handful of other speakers such as Bryonn Bain and Van Jones.

Goapele opened the concert with her hit song “Stand.” She was followed by Common, who performed “Black America Again,” “The Light” and a freestyle about how much he loves Sacramento. Other performers included J. Cole, Andra Day and Ledisi.

Before the concert, Common said it was the right time for this event.

“This is one of the most important moments for me to be here…in Sacramento, in front of the Capitol, in support of changing our prison system, that is why I am here,” he said.

Imagine Justice worked with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC) which has been known to impact the lives of formerly incarcerated individuals. Several former inmates there talked about ARC’s efforts which had helped turn their lives around and break the revolving door of jail and parole arrest only to be jailed again.

Rashid Williams, Common’s drummer, also said the concert was important and the show was a way of giving back to the people. He also said the show was more significant than the average performance which is done in a different city every night.

Lorreen Pryor, Black Student Leadership Project president, said a socially-conscious concert is important these days.

“In these times, more than ever, it is crucial for Black youth to use their collective voices to force change. A key way to do that is to vote. Vote to remove those who are not invested in your future or vote to elect those who represent the ideals that are important to you,” said Pryor.

By Jillian Knox

Feature photo: Russell Coollens. Common taking to the stage.

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