Common, the popular rapper turned actor and activist, is coming to Fresno City College.
He will speak at 11 a.m. Oct. 11 at the Old Administration Building Auditorium as part of his Hope and Redemption tour.
Rumors of a possible visit have been circulating for awhile, but official confirmation was made to faculty, staff and students on Thursday, according to Kathleen Bonilla, the school public information officer.
Within the day, all 600 tickets, plus 150 overflows seats, had been claimed.
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“We knew it would be popular,” Bonilla says.
The event is part of the college’s speaker’s forum, presented in conjunction with the California Endowment and with Common’s own nonprofit, Imagine Justice, which is “centered at the intersection of art and activism,” and “dedicated to leveraging the power of art to advocate for the most marginalized people in society,” according to its Facebook page.
For the past year, the rapper has been doing special concerts at prisons across California.
The tour will also include stops in Bakersfield and Merced.
While Common is best known as a rapper poet who made multiple visits to the White House, his résumé includes an Academy Award for his song “Glory,” which was featured in the film “Selma.” Common also starred in the 2014 movie.
He’s also well known as a voice for social justice.
All of which makes him a perfect choice of the speaker forum, Bonilla says.
“We’re looking for people who are well known, talking about subjects that people are talking about right now,” she says.
“Here’s someone who’s been in the middle of all of that.”