Topics & Questions for Discussion
Common opens his autobiography with descriptions of his family from two polar perspectives. He wonders what others saw when they looked at his family. At this point in the autobiography, how do you perceive his family?
Writing seems to be freeing to Common. What does writing do for you? What do you do to free yourself?
In the letter to his mother, Common writes, “Thank you for being my mother before you became my best friend.” Do you sometimes feel that your parents don’t understand you? Do you want your parents to be your friend so that they can better understand you? Why or why not? Why do you think that parents can’t be their children’s friends?
Common states in the letter to his mother that the most important lesson he learned from her was to care for others. What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from one of your parents thus far?
Why do you think that Common was confused by his father’s absence when he was a child? Why do you think it was easier for him to be angry instead of confused? Has there ever been in time in your life when it was easier to be angry than confused?
When Rashid analyzed his father’s lack of parenting, he had to reflect on his own lack of parenting. He wrote, “It was never for lack of love, but for lack of fight. I haven't fought at certain times to be around her.&rdqu