Daniel Black Speaks On Viral HBCU Commencement Speech

Daniel Black speaks out following his viral commencement speech at Clark Atlanta University (CAU). The author and professor touched on what the moment meant for HBCU graduates everywhere.

Black’s encouraging message told graduates that they were fulfilling a destiny first initiated by their ancestors. His speech signaled to all HBCU graduates, especially at CAU, that their accomplishments made them part of a legacy.

Black spoke with HBCU Gameday about his memorable address at the May 18 commencement. He told the publication that so much was “at stake” when CAU’s President asked him to speak. Black, an alum and long-time professor at the university, accepted the request with pride and a sense of obligation.

“And when the president of Clark Atlanta University, Dr. French, asked me, of course I was overwhelmed. I was elated. But I said, “This has got to be good. It’s got to be right.” Because, again, so much at stake, I knew he was taking a chance,” explained Black.

He added, “And then when I realized all the things I wanted to do, I wanted to connect them to the legacy of Clark. I wanted them to help them be proud of what it meant to be a CAU graduate. But I also wanted to make sure they understood that somebody had paid for them…”

However, Black’s words encouraged not only those within Clark’s campus but the entire HBCU community. He hopes the lasting message remains that Black colleges are pivotal to society and that their graduates are living the dreams of their ancestors who fought for this education.

“Because, yes, I’m talking to Clark, but I wanted to talk really to any Black student anywhere, whoever went to a Black college, because Black colleges share a history. We share a legacy,” expressed the author. “And what I’m very clear about is part of that history, part of that legacy is Black people…sacrificing for the possibility that we would exchange chains for knowledge.”

His inspirational speech continues to make waves on social media. Furthermore, it calls to the generations of HBCU graduates whose journeys promote pride and progress throughout the Black community.

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