“Give people light and they will find a way, ” President Biden
quoted Civil Rights Activist Ella J.Baker, a 1927 Shaw University graduate, in his message to the HBCU class of 2021 and their families last Friday.
President Biden, who gave a special shout out to his home state’s Delaware State University, whose President Tony Allen served as a special assistant and speechwriter for the then-U.S. Senator from 1997-2000, charged this year’s HBCU graduates to get ready to face the challenges of our time. Acknowledging that the pandemic is no longer weighing heavily on them—“it will soon be behind us” but the movement that was launched during that period was not over, Biden energized graduates to use their education to lead the nation into an unprecedented decade of democracy that will stir straight the pot of race relations and civil rights justice. “You are going to see more change in the next 10 years than you would have seen in the last 50 years.”
Calling the Class of 2021 to action, President Biden continued,“No graduating class gets to choose the world in which it graduates. Every class enters the history of a nation—up to that point it has been written by others. But few classes, once in every few generations, enter a point in our history where it actually has a chance to change the trajectory of the country.”
After you watch the President Biden's commencement address to the HBCU Class of 2021 below, download Nina Simone’s 1970 Black Gold album, track #7. You’ll know why when you hear it.