Rapper and actor Common is known for using his artistry as an avenue to tell powerful stories and the Chicago native will continue to do so through the creation of a new film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Common—whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn—is working on a film about civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
The film, dubbed God’s Long Summer, will delve into Hamer’s upbringing in Montgomery County, Mississippi and chronicle the experiences that led her down a path of fighting against injustice. Hamer joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in 1962 and spearheaded initiatives centered on voting rights. Two years after joining SNCC, she ran for Congress and co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party which was launched to encourage and increase Black political participation. Although voter registration was at the core of her mission, she led efforts focused on family services and Black entrepreneurship.
Lynn says he wants to use this film to shine a light on her contributions. “Fannie Lou Hamer is a revolutionary figure we should all know,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “Her story and impact is evidence that Black history is American history. We have all benefited from her work and dedication. I feel blessed to be working with this incredible group of producers to bring this story to the screen.” God’s Long Summer will be created under Waxylu Films. Jeff Waxman, Jennifer Madeloff, Jackie Bazan and Jay Speights will produce alongside Common. The script is being penned by Peter J. Meli who has pulled inspiration from Hamer’s autobiography To Praise Our Bridges.
This isn’t the only biopic in the works about a phenomenal Black woman. Actress and director Regina King is working on a film about pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm. The movie will highlight the journey of the Brooklyn native who made history as the first African American U.S. Congresswoman.