First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement speech at Bowie State University in Maryland this weekend.

Her speech highlighted the long struggle for educational opportunities for African Americans, led by figures like Frederick Douglas, Dr. King, Ruby Bridges, and the Little Rock Nine.

Later, in a Bill Cosby-esque move, the FLOTUS called out black youth for fantasizing about being a “baller or a rapper,” and called for a renewed hunger for education.

From CNN:

“Today, more than 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, more than 50 years after the end of Separate But Equal, when it comes to getting an education too many of our young people just can’t be bothered,” Obama said. “Today instead of walking miles every day to school they’re sitting on couches for hours playing video games, watching TV instead of dreaming of being a teacher or lawyer or business leader they’re fantasizing about being a baller or a rapper.”

“It is that kind of unwavering determination – that relentless focus on getting an education in the face of obstacles –that’s what we need to reclaim, as a community and as a nation. That was the idea at the very heart of the founding of this school,” Obama said.

Read more at CNN


Thoughts on the First Lady’s remarks?

Were her statements about black youth “priorities” profound or problematic?

What do you think is at the root of educational disparities in America?

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