transcript of the speech i gave at Vassar’s black baccalaureate service
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and the Vassar class of 2017.
Just saying that aloud made me feel old. Class of 2017? Most of y'all were born after dark-skinned Aunt Viv left the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. That’s wild.
I want to first thank you for allowing me to be a part of such a special moment in your lives. I am honored, privileged, and a bit in disbelief that you asked me of all people to give this address. I try not to have feelings, and I’m going to do my best not to cry today, but no promises.
I’m here to stand in the gap between you and your parents and guardians and any other elders in your lives that you stopped listening to because you thought they were wack and out of touch. I remember being in your shoes not TOO long ago, and it is my fervent prayer that something that I say here today will help you avoid some of the mess I went through.
To be honest I’m a little nervous, but I figured there was no way could this be worse than when Betsy DeVos went down to Bethune-Cookman, so let’s get started.
As you transition to life after Vassar the changes will be both inevitable and swift, so I’d like to begin by giving you some well-intentioned advice and warning you about the continued process of becoming an adult.