Kean University Cancels Common As Commencement Speaker Over 15-Year-Old Song
Just one day after announcing that rapper Common would be its commencement speaker, Kean University in Union, New Jersey, has cancelled his appearance.
In February, Common won an Oscar for co-writing the song "Glory" for the movie Selma.
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But The State Troopers Fraternal Association called his selection as Kean's commencement speaker "a slap in the face.” Common wrote a song in 2000 supporting convicted cop killer Joanne Chesimard, who is now a fugitive living in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur.
New Jersey State Police spokesman Steve Jones told The Record, "We can't control who the university invites to speak. However, we will continue our efforts to make the public aware of Joanne Chesimard's escape and life on the lam and continue to seek her return to New Jersey and justice."
A Kean University spokesperson says in a statement: "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."