One Day It'll All Make Sense

One Day It'll All Make Sense

From the hip hop icon, Hollywood star, and “a true artist and writer of deep talent” (James McBride, author of The Color of Water)—a candid, New York Times bestselling memoir ranging from his childhood on Chicago’s South side and his emergence as one of rap’s biggest names.

Common has earned a reputation in the hip-hop world as a conscious artist by embracing themes of love and struggle in his songs. His journey toward understanding is rooted in his relationship with a remarkable woman, his mother.

Common holds nothing back in this gripping memoir, both provocative and funny. He tells what it was like for a boy with big dreams growing up on the South Side of Chicago. He reveals how he almost quit rapping after his first album sold only two thousand copies. He recounts his rise to stardom and talks about the challenges of balancing fame, love, and family. Through it all, Common emerges as a man in full. Rapper. Actor. Activist. But also father, son, and friend. His story offers a living example of how, no matter what you’ve gone through, one day it’ll all make sense.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451625882 | 
  • September 2012
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Reading Group Guide


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 see more

About the Author

Photograph by Marc Baptiste


Common is a film and television actor and award-winning music artist. He lives in Los Angeles. An independent publisher/author of books for children, including The Mirror and Me and I Like You but I Love Me, he is also the author of a memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense, which was a New York Times bestseller, and How We Love Is How We Live.