PVAMU welcomes artist, actor, author and activist Common 

“Realizing the joys that have emerged from following the path of self-care is what inspired me to write AND THEN WE RISE. This book is a story about self-care in action. It is a conversation about the value of honoring and fortifying yourself. It is a guide to beginning your own journey, because caring for yourself will lead you to joy and glory, and will give you what you need to fly, to soar, and to be your best self consistently.”—Common 

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – Prairie View A&M University hosts a conversation with award-winning artist, actor, author, and activist Common on Wednesday, Jan. 31. PVAMU is the only HBCU on his multi-city tour schedule, debuting his new book AND THEN WE RISE: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self (HarperOne; Jan. 23, 2024; $30).

Common draws on his own experience of pursuing wellness as a crucial element of his success to present his comprehensive, accessible, and practical program for addressing personal wellbeing—including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health in his new book.

Common’s path to wellness began with food. “I wasn’t always a person who drank green juice or thought about food as a pathway to elevation,” he writes. “Totally the opposite! Back in the day, as a young man in Chicago, I loved French fries, fried chicken—really, anything fried and good that I could get my hands on.” 

But as he adopted a healthier diet and learned how to take care of his physical body, he realized that it also blessed him mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. That’s why AND THEN WE RISE is divided into four sections: The FoodThe BodyThe Mind and The Soul. In each, Common freely shares his own personal stories, examples, and best practices. He even includes recipes, tips on exercise, workout playlists, and a final list of questions to set anyone on a path toward greater self-care.

As Common fully acknowledges, he hasn’t achieved his current state of wellness alone. He’s had the benefit of seeking counsel and support from some of the best practitioners in each of the aspects of wellness, and one of the goals of his book is to share their expertise directly with his readers.  

AND THEN WE RISE is written for everyone, but it is of special importance for Black Americans, who suffer from heart disease and cancer—the leading causes of death in our country—at far higher rates than other Americans, and at earlier ages. Indeed, he writes: “For Black women and Black men in America, self-care is a revolutionary act. The most fruitful and impactful human beings have had to have a certain love for self and taking care of self in order to go out and do the work they did. Those that forgot about it or strayed off that path got depleted at times. We all feel that. If you want to keep going, you’ve got to re-up. When you’re working against dark forces, you’ve got to prepare yourself so that you can step forward with everything you’ve got.”

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