It looks like President Obama appreciates Beyonce’s Lemonade as well. On Saturday (May 7), during his commencement speech to the 2016 graduating class at Howard University, he saluted Queen Bey and others who have made great strides in their respective fields.
In his commencement speech, President Obama told the graduating class that racism and inequality still exists today, but urged them to strive for Black excellence.
“A lot of folks didn’t even think blacks had the tools to be a quarterback,” said Obama. “When I was a graduate, the main black hero on TV was Mr. T. Rap and hip-hop were counter-culture. Now [Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy producer] Shonda Rhimes owns Thursday night and Beyonce runs the world.”
“We’re producers, studio executives. We’re no longer small-business owners, we’re CEOs,” he continued. “We’re mayors, representatives,” to which someone in the crowd yelled, “and President.”
However, President Obama cautioned the graduates that discrimination, economic inequality are still present in our society and they must help in closing those gaps of disparity.
“I’m not saying gaps do not persist. Obviously, they do,” Obama said. “Racism persists, inequality persists.”
“So make no mistake, Class of 2016. You’ve got plenty of work to do,” he added. “But as complicated and intractable as these challenges may see, the truth is your generation is better position than any before you to meet those challenges.”
The 54-year-old president praised the graduating class for overcoming their obstacles to make sure they get their degrees. He advised graduates to work diligently to make life fair by implanting change.
“Change isn’t something that happens every four years or eight years. Change is not placing your faith in any articular politician, “he said. “Change is the effort of committed citizens, who hitched their wagons to something bigger than themselves and fight for it every single day.”
Watch President Obama’s commencement speech at Howard University above.