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Must Watch Video: Michelle Obama’s Commencement Speech at Tuskegee University

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Last week, the Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA conferred upon the First Lady of the United States the honorary award Doctor of Humane Letters. Michelle Obama‘s commencement speech 2015 was not only warm and endearing, but also inspiring.

Here are some quotes that particularly caught our attention

Back in those days, I a lot of sleepless nights worrying about what people thought of me; wondering if I might be hurting my husband’s chances of winning his election, fearing how my girls would feel if they found out what some people were saying about their mom. But eventually, I realised, that if I wanted to keep my sanity and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do – and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me. I had to ignore all of the noise,  and be true to myself and the rest would work itself out.

So throughout this journey, I have learned to block everything out and focus on my truths. I had to answer some basic questions for myself. Who am I? No, really… who am I? What do I care about?  And the answers to those questions have resulted in the woman who stands before you today. A woman who is first and foremost a mom. Look, I love our daughters more than anything in the world, more than life itself. And while that may not be the first thing that some folks want to hear from an ivy league educated lawyer, it is truly who I am.  So for me, being Mom-in-chief is and always will be job Number One

And at the end of the day, by staying true to the me I’ve always known, I found that this journey has been incredibly freeing. Because no matter what happened, I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling, the doubting… all of it was just noise. It did not define me. It didn’t change who I was. And most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back. I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values, and follow my own moral compass then the only expectations I need to live up to, are my own.

So graduates, that’s what I want for all of you.  I want you all to stay true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves. I want you to ask those basic questions: who do you want to be?  What inspires you? How do you want to give back? And then, I want you to take a deep breath and trust yourself to chart your own course, and make your mark on the world.

Okay, we’ll stop here. There are many nuggets of wisdom… trust us!

Watch the video here to get the full version of the speech:

10 Comments

  1. Mz Socially Awkward....

    May 16, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Awwww, I like how she seemed to put a mum hat on with this address; it was the sort of speech you’d give your own kids. Whenever I take in the impact, intelligence and confidence that emanates from black women like Michelle, I’m reminded that Rosa Parks didn’t seat on the front seat of that bus for nothing. Formidable female!

    And I was impressed by the frank reminders of the racial challenges ahead of these black graduates. It’s a hard truth about how things appear to stay unchanged when the first couple of a 1st world nation also lives in constant awareness of their skin colour. Nevertheless, still, we rise…

  2. Patience

    May 16, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Na only Michelle Obama waka come…
    Our mama peace, Pepe Jonathan that was groomed in RSUST, Port Harcourt is more eloquent that Michelle Obama…
    Deris is God ooo

  3. Why

    May 16, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I hate America with all my heart, i can’t wait to finish studying and come back home, they all try to pretend they are good but they are not. The first question my white roommate asked was “do you use utensils to eat?” after i told him i am from Nigeria and my reply was “you know your people created the internet and google right?”. Nigeria is shitty but if we all run away who will fix it. The white will never get out of the bubble they live in and see us as equal. Unfortunately for African-Americans a lot of them are too sensitive, have victim mentality and a sense of entitlement. Inspirational speech i hope AA’s listen to the block it all out part, complaining won’t solve anything.

    • nene

      May 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      gbam

  4. Tosin

    May 16, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Thank you for the transcript.
    ehm, i dunno, i don’t believe her.

  5. Bisi

    May 16, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Best advice anybody could give to you. Stay true to you. Have faith on your inner man. Make decisions from your heart. Life would be so much better

  6. Hogan

    May 16, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Great speech! Michelle can easily be the first black female president of the United States of America. She has raised some very vital points here, one of which is racial discrimination faced by blacks in the western world and the fact that it will continue. She underlined the need to stand up for ourselves and never play the victim card. “My thots”

  7. Ba

    May 16, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    That was a sincere and great speech.

  8. Sugar

    May 18, 2015 at 10:05 am

    Have faith in God’s plan and stay true to who you are and the rest will work itself…Inspring

  9. Chi

    May 21, 2015 at 11:06 am

    She’s amazing. Truly inspiring! A very honest, genuine and wise woman. She’s one of the best things that cold ever happen to America, and yet it’s completely lost on Americans. It’s a shame. Most of us who live here in the States are appalled at the racist attacks on her. They attack her worse than they attack her husband, but she’s always ignored it. But the racists are so much less hateful to her husband if you can believe that. Having a white mother to them, makes him that more acceptable than her. It’s a shame.

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