John Legend has a new project on his plate — and it’s not another album (yet). On April 13, the singer announced his FREE AMERICA campaign to raise awareness about mass incarceration of hundreds of thousands of men and women in American jails.
While John Legend, 36, is hard at work on new music, he’s also tackling another project. The “All Of Me” singer revealed on April 13 that he’s aiming to end the mass incarceration of men and women in American jails with the FREE AMERICA campaign, which will begin with an appearance in Austin, Texas on April 16.
John Legend’s Mass Incarceration Campaign: FREE AMERICA
“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” John said. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world.”
He first addressed the issue while accepting the Best Original Song trophy at the Academy Awards in February. “We know that, right now, the struggle for freedom and justice is real,” he noted in his speech. “We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than there were under slavery in 1850.”
It’s been reported that more than 1 in 100 Americans is behind bars, a shocking statistic that has led John to fight for change.
To start the campaign off, John will perform at a correctional facility in Austin, Texas on April 16. Later this month, he’ll make an appearance at a California state prison, and has plans to get other artists on-board for the campaign.
After announcing his initiative, John spread the word to his nearly 7 million Twitter followers. “Ask our presidential candidates what they’re doing to #EndMassIncarceration #FREEAMERICA. http://letsfreeamerica.org,” he wrote.
John and Common’s song “Glory” from the movie Selma certainly moved people during awards season — the crowd was even brought to tears when they performed it at the Oscars on Feb. 22.
Considering John has already been well-received for his fight for change, hopefully he won’t have trouble gaining support for this new campaign.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of John’s plans for the FREE AMERICA campaign?
— Alyssa Norwin