The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
Djeneba Aduayom for TIME
By Common
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

Angela Davis said that at a UCLA panel we were on together, and her words stuck with me. Her love for Black people and humanity at large fuels her; you can see it reflected in her impact on our world.

Her legacy is timeless; rooted in her truth, it encourages future generations to be courageous. As a child, her family friends were among the young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. As a political leader, she was attacked, hunted and imprisoned; she dared to stand against a racist system. She’s seen and witnessed it all, and she continues to inspire, educate and resist oppression.

There are certain people whose names you hear a lot in hip-hop and rap songs. Angela Davis is one of them. Hip-hop artists are the leaders of culture, speaking to and for young Black kids around the world. Whom they see as legends and pay tribute to carry a lot of weight. Angela Davis stays on the pulse of what’s important. Last year, I freestyled for her during a birthday party at her home. She spent the night enjoying jazz music on her balcony, dressed in a Colin Kaepernick jersey.

Revolution is love.

Common is an Emmy-, Grammy- and Academy Award–winning songwriter and recording artist

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