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Daniel Black x CAU Commencement

Source: YouTube / HBCU Gameday

Social media users are raving about the commencement speech given by Dr. Daniel Black at Clark Atlanta University, even quoting Kendrick Lamar.

A commencement speech that will go down in history as one of the most inspirational occurred this past weekend at Clark Atlanta University. The Professor of African-American Studies, Dr. Daniel Black, took the podium at his alma mater on Saturday (May 18)  and began in a highly spirited manner. “Here they come, ya’ll! Here they come! Here they come y’all, here they come!! Doctors, lawyers, writers, business owners, teachers, healers, rappers, preachers – here they come, y’all, here they come!!”

Dr. Black didn’t stop there, as he turned the speech into an energetic sermon on the benefits of getting a degree from the esteemed HBCU. “The dream of the slave, the hope of the angels, the promise of the ancestors, the answers to Grandmama’s prayers, the guarantee of Grandaddy’s work, here they come y’all, here they come!” As he spoke, the crowd and those gathered on stage met his exuberance with rapturous applause. At one point, Clark Atlanta University President George T. French Jr. stood up in amazement, walked over to Dr. Black at the podium, and smiled before sitting back down. The writer and activist would then take a different turn with his speech, transforming it into a rap inspired by the smash Kendrick Lamar hit “Not Like Us”.

“This is CAU, the proud, the few, the place where excellence debuts,” he began as the crowd cheered at Panther Stadium, where the ceremony was held. “They not like us. You say you need a degree? Well, we confer three – the bachelor’s, the master’s, and the PHD!!” Dr. Black even quoted from the Bible and rapper Bossman DLow during his fifteen-minute speech. The speech went viral online, with many praising his words as 

The educator had spoken before about the honor of speaking at his alma mater for the commencement and had also talked about another hot topic in correlation with graduations taking place this spring – the war in Gaza. “We have students who are clearly aware and very concerned as are our faculty and staff at Clark in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said in an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s not what I intend to focus on.”