FROM TUSKEGEE TO THE WHITE HOUSE: FIRST LADY'S SPEECH ON RACE

 MICHELLE OBAMA DURING ADDRESS TO TUSKEGEE GRADUATES

MICHELLE OBAMA DURING ADDRESS TO TUSKEGEE GRADUATES

May 09, 2015
by Paul Notice

First Lady Michelle Obama spoke candidly to Tuskegee University graduates about both the historical and current issues Black American face. During her commencement address, Obama tied the difficulties faced by the iconic Tuskegee Airmen to those faced today by students attending the same university. Obama pointed out she, like the students, had to fight against how the society sees them, and who they really are:

“The world won’t always see you in those caps and gowns.  They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to make it to this day -- the countless hours you spent studying to get this diploma, the multiple jobs you worked to pay for school, the times you had to drive home and take care of your grandma, the evenings you gave up to volunteer at a food bank or organize a campus fundraiser.  They don't know that part of you [….]
Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world.  And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be.”

Nevertheless, Obama also encouraged the new graduates, stating that:

“Our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win.  It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together -- then we can build ourselves and our communities up.  We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together -- together -- we can overcome anything that stands in our way.”