4 Noteworthy HBCU Commencement Speeches From Notable Novices
Generally, all types of media outlets do a listing of noteworthy commencement speakers. Some publications like Inside Higher Ed traditionally do a weekly update as commencement speakers are announced. But with a large number of addresses this year being virtual, the media took this year off.
Colleges announce commencement speakers
Barton College: Reverend Canon Nontombi Naomi Tutu of the Cathedral of All Souls in Asheville, N.C. College of the…
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Look, I understand the challenge with virtual speeches. I have done a couple and they are hard! You can’t read the room, and in the African American tradition the call and response from the audience are important to the event. So nothing beats being at commencement with the energy that they grads and their families bring.
I love commencement. I love commencement speeches, which is why I spend a lot of time thinking about people to bring for ours. I also like novices. Sure there is a cadre of speakers that will knock it out of the park every time, but there are some folks who have something to say but we never ask them to say anything.
Well, this commencement season so far I have found some notable folks who gave their first commencement speeches. And they all hit home runs. Hopefully you will check them out.
Bennett College: The Class of 2021
Most commencements have just one keynote speaker. Bennett will let its entire senior class speak.
Most commencement speakers, Houston said, follow the same traditional script: They tell their own story, dispense some…
That’s right. Members of the class gave the speech, and for a small college a significant number of the students can participate. This was a cool way to make virtual work, and because it was Zoom, it was interactive all the way!
Benedict College: Tiffany Cross
Tiffany has taken cable news by storm, first as a commentator, then a fill in host, and now her own show on Saturdays. She’s an HBCU product as well! She offers practical advice for grads for a time like this.
South Carolina State University: Chalamagne Tha God
Fantastic speech! Very thought provoking and the right tone for the audience. He continues to broaden his influence from The Breakfast Club and should be a regular on the lecture circuit.
Dillard University: Michael Ealy
Dillard University | Michael Ealy Commencement Address
On the morning of May 15, actor and producer Michael Ealy spoke frankly to the Dillard University class of 2021 about…
Something told me he had a lot to say. I had a lot of skeptics too! But my wife said it best. People came for the eye candy but got meat and potatoes because Michael Ealy brought a word with him! I mean it was a masterful address that resonated with the crowd. At times you felt you were listening to Malcolm X or Fred Hampton. He made us think, and you could tell he spent a lot of time thinking about this speech.
Let me put it like this- we started debating where he ranked in terms of Dillard commencement speakers, and when its between you, Denzel, and Michelle Obama, you know it was good. You have to watch this speech!