Huffington Post: Obama Speaks as Father-In-Chief at Morehouse College Commencement



By Ambassador Andrew J. Young, chairman, Andrew J. Young Foundation, and John Hope Bryant, chairman, Operation HOPE

It's hard to evaluate the impact of a commencement speech.

George Marshall (1944) announced the Marshall Plan at Harvard University and changed the world in 20 minutes.

Tom Mboya, as a 29 year-old young African (Kenyan) leader in 1959, at Howard University helped inspire the American sit-ins by his presence alone. Walter Young was in that graduating class from Howard University's dental school.

Jimmy Carter gave the Morehouse commencement as governor of Georgia, and said as he received his honorary degree in 1975, that he expected he would be the first Morehouse man as president (of the United States), but "I promise you I will not be the last."

Obama by his own appearance, as President of the United States, in front of 10,000 graduates, family and alumni on a rainy day in Georgia fulfilled that promise, but may have also inspired a new generation of leaders to return to, and to rebuild their own communities; and their own families too. The president did a good job connecting to this new generation of young people.

In today's complicated political and economic environment, nothing truly significant can happen in just one generation. Obama lit a fire for generations to come.

Read, share and comment on the complete article on the Huffington Post here.

1 Comment


    Dear President Obama

    Dear President Obama,

    I hope this email finds you in good spirit, mind and body. This summary and roadmap has a holistic approach to transforming the African American community spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically from our economic dilemma.

    I am totally disappointed in how most of my people have embraced a culture of failure, the poverty mentality, self-inflicted ignorance and apathy for family and education. Since the post-Civil Rights Era, most of the African American community has embraced a culture of failure as a legacy to our Slave ancestors and our children’s children future.

    My motto to the African American leadership is direct and clear with much love and respect; you can lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. No more talking misguided African American Leadership the time is now for generational transformation of the African American community.

    We have the financial resources; the intellectual mindset of young adults, what we lack is sincere proactive leadership and a collective cohesiveness, moral compass, a ubuntu value system and a strategic plan of action focusing on four goals;

    • Rebuilding the family infrastructure,

    • Economic management and empowerment,

    • Self-education based on Africa history and arts,

    • And healthcare prevention.

    I have pasted an excerpt from an Ebony Magazine article interviewing Maya Angelou in 1993 for your review.

    The astute and world renowned author and activist, Maya Angelou, purports in an 1993 Ebony article the following: “When leadership takes the high road, then those people who are following, if they had been straddling the fence, they are encouraged to, themselves, strive for a higher road,” Angelou says philosophically. “I think that there will be more people trying to do better as leadership tries to do better. And individuals must accept responsibility for their actions, Angelou declares, and become actively involved in the running of the country.”

    “Something has happened in the last 25 years”, Angelou says softly, as though pondering the thought for the first time. “Maybe we were so traumatized by the murders of the two Kennedys, Malcolm X and Martin, that we took our shoulders from the wheel and said to leadership,’ you take it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. You take over. I’m voting you in. Run my life for me.’ Well didn’t they just [laughs], didn’t they just.”

    In recent years, African-Americans in particular found themselves adrift in a sea of national malaise. The Black Community seemingly relied more on established institutions, Angelou asserts, rather than on our age-old practice of reaching out to help our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

    Angelou further assures in Ebony (1993) that ” We, who are in positions to inform, to form and to influence, must let the people in the worst areas know that we care about them and they will respond, “But people can tell if you are sincere or not.”

    The healing must first begin within African-American households, Angelou says, where an acrimonious gulf rages between many Black men and Black women. She implores both sides to look carefully at the schism that divides them and ask: Who is being served by the discord?

    “We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each other’s excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together,” Angelou says with a tear at the edge of her voice.

    Narrowing her eyes, as though seeing the harrowing scene in her mind, Angelou continues. “Or if we did survive, we survived and got off that ship together and stood on the auction block together. After that, we got up before sunrise together, stopped work after sunset together. It is ridiculous to even opine that one section of our community can be separated from the other section and have any health in it. “End quote.

    The African American Equality Economic Recovery Think Tank Brief Summary:

    I support President Obama Urban Policy economic agenda for the African American community. We do not need a new black agenda perpetuated by the same posse and successors of the boule clan who have been a colossal failure for the last 50 years.

    We need new leadership at the table like Geoffrey Canada, Steve Perry, Juan Williams, George Curry, Paul Tough, Joe Madison, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Claud Anderson, Julianne Malveaux, Minister Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr, Al Sharpton, Benjamin Todd Jealous, Marc Morial and Walter Williams who are truth tellers regardless of how people may feel about them. I seek resolve for the pathology that stagnant our generational growth and economic transformation as a people. I seek open, honesty opinions, ideas and commitment from people who has a different of opinion to stretch our minds in seeking solutions, a strategy and implementation for a successful paradigm shift.

    Stanley “Doc” Scott

    Activist for Self-Education and Self-Empowerment

    Founder of the African American Economic Recovery Think Tank;

    PO Box 2672

    Jacksonville, Florida 32203


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