John Legend to perform at Texas prison

The singer has launched his own initiative to end mass incarceration in the US

John Legend, in an attempt to end mass incarceration, has launched his own initiative called Free America.

This Thursday (April 16), the singer-songwriter will perform at a correctional facility in Austin, Texas and also take part in a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system. Later this month Legend will also visit a state prison in California and then head to Washington D.C, where he will co-host a criminal justice event.

Speaking about his passion for the cause via Associated Press, Legend revealed: “We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country. It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

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It comes as no surprise that this is a cause Legend feels strongly about. Earlier this year, when picking up the award for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards with rapper Common, Legend poignantly remarked during his speech: “We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real. We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850.”

John Legend will be touring arenas in the UK and Ireland this summer. Full dates are listed below:

Cork Live At The Marquee (June 23)
London O2 Arena (25)
Birmingham Barclaycard Arena (26)
Manchester Arena (27)
Glasgow SSE Hydro (30)
Leeds First Direct Arena (July 1)

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