It has been a spring to remember here in Memphis, with the runaway success of the Grizzlies and the flooding of the Mississippi River. However, the most noteworthy event to take place here in a long while was President Obama's visit to Booker T. Washington High School, where he delivered the commencement address.
Booker T. Washington, or BTW, won a nation-wide contest to host President Obama at its graduation. Here is the winning video that they submitted to the White House:
Before the graduation, Obama surprised the students with a short speech:
Finally, here is his commencement speech in its entirety.
President Obama's speech was wonderful and inspiring in a way that only an Obama speech can be. I can only imagine how it must have felt for my students to have heard these words:
Yes, you’re from South Memphis. Yes, you’ve always been underdogs. Nobody has handed you a thing. But that also means that whatever you accomplish in your life, you will have earned it. Whatever rewards and joys you reap, you’ll appreciate them that much more because they will have come through your own sweat and tears, products of your own effort and your own talents. You’ve shown more grit and determination in your childhoods than a lot of adults ever will. That’s who you are.
Congratulations to the graduates at Booker T. Washington High School.