VIDEO: Common Speaks On Youth Violence and His New Role

BY: - 10 Jan '13 | On the Web

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In a recent panel discussion including his upcoming film, Luv, music artist and actor, Common, discussed his views on the structure of black families and its affect on gun violence in America.

Luv, which is set to release on Jan. 18, centers around an 11-year-old boy in Baltimore learning what it means to be a man while longing for his family to be whole again. After his hero, Uncle Vincent (Common), is released from jail with plans to turn his life around, Woody is faced with figuring out the direction of his own life.

The film’s lessons connect with Common’s belief that better parenting and reconstruction of the black family is needed within inner cities. During the panel, he talks about figuring out how elders and young people can better support each other. Disagreeing with the NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, who suggested putting armed police in every school, Common feels that guns are not the answer to reducing violence among youth.

“I think the biggest issue for our young people is to have opportunities to dream, to have guidance, to have love and support,” he said. “More guns are never the solution. Putting more guns in there is not going to solve anything.”

Common recalls that while he was exposed to poverty and “street elements” in his native Chicago, he was fortunate to grow up in a black middle-class neighborhood.  However, he acknowledges that seeing positive and successful black figures outside of entertainment like President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama is what black youth needs.

Read the complete article on MSNBC’s website and check out the video below.


BMWK– What do you feel is needed to cut down and eventually put an end to violence in youth? How can we as black parents change the future for our own children?

About the author

Stacie Bailey wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Stacie Bailey is a graduate of Quinnipiac University with a master's degree in Interactive Communications. She has strong interests in youth, social media and an overall love for sharing knowledge and information.


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2 WordPress comments on “VIDEO: Common Speaks On Youth Violence and His New Role

  1. Dagmara

    I agree that guns are certainly not the answer to reducing violence. In fact, psychology studies show that even images of weapons (let alone weapons themselves) increase aggressive behaviors and violence in humans.

    I think that the solution to issues of violence must begin with education. All animals become violent for a reason.

    In working with inner-city students, I found tremendous disparities between the educational and social opportunities that I had available to me throughout my public school years in the suburbs, and those which were available to my students throughout their years in the inner-city public school system.

    Much research exists on the proper methods of pedagogy, and the important takeaways are targeted and relevant engagement. The current systems of education are not set-up for the age of technology, constant change and instant information. They are based on the factory model and stem from industrialism. When these models were constructed, teenage pregnancies and school shootings did not exist.

    Sir Ken Robinson can elaborate in this video (

    My hope for change in this system of education that is failing our nation lies in replicating the successes of Stephen Ritz, a teacher in the South Bronx who has revolutionized the way we look at education, giving his students the ability to grow food for their school and their community, while teaching them information that translates into immediate improvements in their quality of life. Ritz also helps his students earn an income by starting and running businesses that implement their knowledge bases and growing solutions for local businesses, individuals, and other schools.

    Here’s a TED that outlines his program and incredible success statistics ( I found this simple solution of creating life (in more ways than 1) to be one of the most inspiring stories I’ve heard to date.


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