booker t

Text of the President’s speech here

…with graduate Christopher Dean and Principal Alisha Kiner

More from Memphis here

96 Responses to “booker t”

  1. 1 MTmarilyn
    May 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Thanks for all the links. I have all of them open, it is so much fun listening to all of them. I am so glad today I am working at home. I can tune in too all of this. Thanks for keeping this updated.

  2. 2 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Okay, I am now at work and the site looks fine to me….hmmmm.

  3. 3 lisa
    May 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    watching the Fox feed. PBO meeting the students behind the scenes. He’s shaking hands and the valedictorian(that’s what the anchor says) and two other girls start crying as soon as he touches them. So sweet. One of the guests on the program says he would cry too if PBO touched him πŸ™‚ I would either have apoplexy or be tackled by SS, cause I’d never let him go πŸ˜‰

  4. 7 MTmarilyn
    May 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I just heard he met with the kids privately. That is so cool. What a day for them. I think I would have fainted away. I get chills all over thinking about all of them.

  5. 8 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Oh lawd, I can’t afford to start crying at work :-(!

    May 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm


  7. 15 Kasai
    May 16, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Oh My…My… I am chocked up.. tears running down…..I can’t help it.
    God Bless them…and this Wonderful President

  8. 17 m
    May 16, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I watched about 7 secs of the President shaking hands with the students and I couldn’t help but start crying too!

  9. 18 lisa
    May 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Is Arnie there? I love Arnie, I hope he’s there too.

  10. 19 Me4obama
    May 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Chipsticks bring out the muppets and cross out chump the clown. He just announced he is not running for president.

  11. 25 MTmarilyn
    May 16, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    This will be a teary morning. Just listening and watching I get all choked up.

    May 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm


  13. 27 MTmarilyn
    May 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    OMG, What a speech by the salutatorian.

  14. 28 P
    May 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    That girl was really in awe of the President those tears are not fake! I would be crying too if I was in her position..

  15. 29 P
    May 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Awww my President is looking soooo cute looking up like that πŸ™‚

  16. 30 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    These young speakers are just phenomenal. And funny :-)!

  17. 31 LadyTNT
    May 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I live in Memphis and our city is a buzz with the President being here. I saw the above pictures live and I cried right along with those kids. Many of them broke down and the President was right there to comfort them. I am so full right now. I have been crying the whole time!!!

  18. 32 m
    May 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Oh the young man who introduced the President was perfect! Well done! Loved his sneaky “birther” put-down in there!

    • 33 P
      May 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Yes he was really perfect! His mom must be really proud of him! I love the ‘birther’ comment lol…just knowing the inspiration the President is to these students makes me want to cry…tears of joy! I love it!

      • 34 Theo67
        May 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm

        I got choked up when listening to the young man talk about how he was inspired by the President – that’s what it’s all about, really.

  19. 35 Proud of Obama
    May 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    Corker, Harold Ford and Lamarr Alexander all there hanging onto PBO’s fabulous coattails. Ugh. Ugh.

  20. 36 Dorothy Rissman
    May 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    The young man who introduced Obama was wonderful. Very touching.

    Bob Corker and that other creep Lamar Alexander, let’s give them a big boooooooo!

    • May 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      I must say that what I really found classy about this audience was that they dutifully applauded for the senators and representative regardless what they (must have) thought of them.

      I know when I was 17 Nixon faced impeachment – Lord did I loath the guy.

  21. 38 meta
    May 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    PBO is giving such a great speech. LOVING it.

    He is so human and so incredibly magnetic, I tear up just seeing him interact with those students seated there before him. Just look at the effect he has on them! He has forever changed their lives. It’s just fantastic.

  22. 39 StR
    May 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    “Students need to know that you care, before they care about what you know”

  23. 40 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    PBO is hitting it out of the park, as usual.

    He’s so generous — introducing the spineless politicians/hangers-on….but anyway…it’s electric in that hall. Phenomenal!

  24. 41 collegekay
    May 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    This is a tear jerker.

  25. 42 meta
    May 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Flash over substance! Entertainment reality show……Yes, our President is going there!!!! OMG.

  26. 43 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Our President is a master. Has these kids (and countless others) in the palm of his hand. Loved his comment about reality show “success” not being a lasting achievement :-).

  27. May 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    MY PRESIDENT IS SOOOOO AWESOME!! And those kids are so blessed! After watching their video, they needed this moment in their lives! SO BEAUTIFUL!! Wish Michelle was there…..

  28. 45 P
    May 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Great speech by my Presdient!!! I just love the Obamas πŸ™‚

  29. 46 Proud of Obama
    May 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Wow all the grads get to shake the President’s hand! Wow.

  30. 47 P
    May 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    These kids just shaking his hand if it was me I would of thrown a hug in there πŸ™‚

    May 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm


  32. 52 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I’m watching the feed from local Fox 13 and the anchors are just GUSHING over PBO and over teachers. Wonderful stuff, and how refreshing. The tide is turning!

  33. 53 Debz
    May 16, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    These student must feel so proud! And PBO’s speech was wonderful.

  34. 54 lisa
    May 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    these kids are way too shy! I’d be hugging on the president like nobody’s business. They wouldn’t be able to get me unattached from him. Oye. These kids are missing a prime opportunity, but I’m very proud of them πŸ™‚

  35. 55 CTGirl
    May 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    A man to emulate…continue to lead by example Mr. President.

  36. 56 Debz
    May 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I would definitely get a big hug and hang on for awhile. these kids are more mature than me.

  37. 57 P
    May 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I could do with some ribs now yum…especially eating ribs with the President..can’t get any better πŸ™‚
    What a memorable moment it was! Congrats to all the students their stories touched my heart!

  38. 58 Proud of Obama
    May 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    This is great coverage of the poll out today about PBO’s personal approval rating of 72% in the battleground states. No matter how the rethugs lie and try to tarnish this great President, they cannot do it. The American people have eyes and ears and are paying attention to the President. Not them and not the media.

    “If you want to know why Barack Obama is looking good for reelection despite the our nation’s economic struggles, the new Politico/GWU poll has your answer. 72% of voters in battleground states approve of Obama as a person.

    The Politico/GWU poll found that despite 56% of voters saying they are concerned about the economy, President Obama has a 52% job approval rating. Obama only has a 42% approval rating on the economy, but by a margin of 48%-42% he is more trusted to handle the economy than congressional Republicans. Obama is also more trusted to create jobs (47%-43%), healthcare (52%-41%), handle Social Security (50%-37%), keep America safe from terrorism (55%-34%), and more Americans believe that he shares their values (51%-38%). The only issue that the GOP led him on was the deficit, and their lead was within the margin of error (47%-44%).”


  39. 62 lisa
    May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    “My next job will be as principal of Malia’s and Sasha’s high school, then I’ll be president of their college.” πŸ˜‰ Ha. poor girls. That would be so awesome πŸ™‚

    • 63 Me4obama
      May 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

      I really feel sorry for malia and sasha. This man will spie on his two girls if they go dates with any boys. Very proud and protective dad indeed.

    • 64 m
      May 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      I thought that was so funny!

      • 65 m
        May 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm

        In case that last reply of mine was confusing, I thought when PBO said he was going on to be the high school principal for Sasha and Malia after hearing from the principal’s daughter was very funny!

        • 66 Lisa
          May 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

          Yeah! He loves that idea! I don’t think he wants them to date…..ever! Can you imagine if they brought a guy home? He wouldn’t let them into the house, he’d set SS after the boys and put the girls in a convent. Hahahaha. He is so cute. It’s gonna be trouble when they reach dating age πŸ˜‰ poor PBO 😦

          • 67 Me4obama
            May 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm

            Lisa don’t feel sorry for PBO. Look what he does to all the ladies here. He is totally responsible for our insanity. If u know what I mean. Just sayin.

            • 68 Lisa
              May 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm

              That’s true, he certainly does ALOT for me πŸ˜‰

              • 69 anniebella
                May 16, 2011 at 3:52 pm

                I am so proud of those students, so proud. Sasha and Malia will be just fine. So will the President. It will be tough seeing his daughters dating, but hopefully that is four or more years away. Daddy Obama will be just fine. Michelle will see to it that her man is okay.

                • 70 EDP4BHO
                  May 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

                  .” Michelle will see to it that her man is okay.”

                  Okay, anniebella….hahaha….nudging the ladies here back into their corners again, I see. Yes, the ladies here are in amore with POTUS. We do just all adore him πŸ˜€

  40. 71 Mae who love our CIC
    May 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    This is a proud moment. Those students will be impacted for the rest of their lives to have our President at their commencement program.

  41. 72 rikyrah
    May 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    the students in these pictures touch my heart. crying just looking at them.

  42. 73 Luci1119
    May 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    I just can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed this Commencement Exercise. It was off the Chain. It was Electric, it was Comforting, It was Encouraging, and let me not leave out EMOTIONAL. The Soloist did a wonderful job on writing the song, and It was soooooooo appropiate. The Salutatorian, was Very Good, and the Valedictorian, was Great. The young Man Chris, who Introduced our President, was Fantastic, with his bit of Humor, was Spot on. I teared during the entire Exercise. I just kind of moved Into these Students shoes for a moment, thinking about the Struggles they endured. It was so moving and touching. Then our Beloved President, put the Icing on the cake, as he usually does. ummmmmmmmm, I’m just moved by these Students were so humble and Grateful to have President Obama be their Speaker. I certainly pray, that they continue to move forward In their lives, toward their Careers.

    Thank you Chips for providing us with such good Live Coverage :-)~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  43. 74 GGail
    May 16, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    So great of POTUS to stand there and shake 150 students’ hand. What a kind and generous man he is! They will remember this day over and above any other day in their lives. Just think of all the new potential voters to register – right there at the Convention Center. I hope OFA is there and on the job!

  44. 77 sam uk obama supporter
    May 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Totally awesome! As usual President Obama was incredible. I love that man SO much! Been feeling really down just lately which is why I’ve only been lurking for a while but seeing the President’s awesome address just now has made me feel a whole lot better and I wanted to drop by and say how moved I was by his comments today.

    I am in awe of those incredible students, they are impressive. (Also I am impressed with the way they greeted PBO, were I in their position I would have hugged him and not wanted to ever let go!!) I can’t wait for his visit to the UK. Already counting the hours!! Lol!

    Thanks for this wonderful site Chipsticks, as always you ROCK!

  45. 80 m
    May 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    We need to watch live coverage like this everywhere the POTUS goes! It was so heartwarming!

  46. 82 DreamChaser57
    May 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Oh the inhumanity, I missed it!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????? Why!??????? Does anyone have a link? I just cannot take all of the warm and fuzzies that’s building up in me now. Michelle at Spelman and now this. Someone once described the problem with Bush was his cultural insularity -that’s huge. For so long people in the White House have ignored, dismissed, anything and anyone that does not look like them, act like them, talk like them. It gets me when certain people like Cornel West, Tavis Smiley have the audacity to question the president’s impact on the black community. Who in the world, of any color connects with Cornel West?

  47. 83 Titti
    May 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Awww arrived too late, missed it all.:( You can’t help but be emotional from the few clips on here. Will get my box of tissues ready for the full video.

  48. 84 kelly
    May 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    President Obama greets Memphis high school grads. πŸ˜€ Sorry video embedding not allowed but wow amazing.

    • 85 Sue in Minnesota
      May 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Thank you Kelly for the link. I thought my well was dry after crying before, during and after the commencement ceremony….seems not. This event and my personal response to it was a very cathartic experience, a much need relief from the negative and blatantly bigoted tone of our current national politics.

      What an incredible and well deserved experience for all these students. Prayers going forward that these young people can accompolish their dreams and aspirations.

      President Obama is in a league of his own. May God continue to be his strength and his shield.

  49. 86 anniebella
    May 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    The student introducing the President was real good.

  50. 87 northanger
    May 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Chips!

    This was so sweet and the videos were great. Found this from The Commercial Appeal, Memphis

    Obama’s surprise visit leaves grads cheering, crying

    Updated | 11:53 a.m.

    BTW students Cassandra Henderson and Christopher Dean accompanied President Obama for a surprise drop-in private chat with the assembled senior class, behind curtains away from the main ballroom arena. Principal Alisha Kiner tried to relax them with some knock-knock jokes and quips about seniors crying at graduation. The students were unaware Obama was going to join them before the commencement, and they erupted into cheers — and some sobs — when he walked out smiling.

    Then they dropped into a respectful silence. “How’s everybody doing?” Obama asked.

    “Awesome,” came one loud reply.

    “I just had a chance to meet your principal and these two outstanding classmates of yours. I just want to say how excited and inspired I am.”

    Obama joked that he understood the principal was “25” years old — “so I guess she got started when she was 7.”

    Obama gave a small preview that sounded like a pep talk: “Obviously this has a lot to do with great teachers, but this is mainly your day and about your success. A lot of you had to struggle to get here. Most of you weren’t born with a silver spoon in your mouth but what you’ve shown is determination, what you’ve shown is character, what you’ve shown is a willingness to work hard and the ability to steer clear of folks who were trying to send you down the wrong path.

    “So as a consequence you’ve now become role models for all the young people coming up behind you. You’ve become an inspiration to the city, to the state of Tennessee and the country. So I just wanted you all to know you inspire me. That’s why I’m here. I could not be prouder of what you do.

    “But I’ve still got some big, big expectations of you. So don’t think that just because you’ve graduated form high school, that that is it. You’ve got a lot more work to do because I expect all of you to be leaders in this community and communities all across the country.

    “This is just the beginning and not the end, all right? God Bless you guys. I’m so excited to be here.”

    Another huge roar went up as he put down the microphone to mix with the students — most of them with “Honors” sashes. One girl was sobbing and Obama gave her a reassuring, sympathetic look, leaned down and put his hand on her neck to comfort her. Next to her another girl was crying, and Obama went down the row.

    Then the students noticed the usually steely principal’s eyes watering up.

    “No, no,” she said. “You know, that’s just pollen.”

    — Zack McMillin

  51. May 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    It was so difficult to stay calm at the office today. It was really hard trying to work while listening to all the excitement at Booker T Washington High School.

    What an amazing day for the students.

  52. May 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Great video. I love the colors of their gowns — so cheerful, not the usual black or blue or dark purple.

  53. 91 Asher in Boston
    May 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Me smiling ear to ear. So happy for the students and Potus is great as usual. That introduction was IT, funny, and brilliant. The bither humor had me LOL, as the students did as well which shows that these young people are tuned into whats going on in the political world, thus being a plus. They know how crazy the teabaggers/ birthers are. What a fun day.

  54. 92 louc1
    May 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    I have watched this over and over and I can’t help but have the biggest grin on my face. This is why so many love our President. He gets it with young people and they know it and they love him!!!! Those young ladies crying remind me of what I am sure I would be doing as well. They will never forget this day nor the way the President tried to console them. Christopher was wonderful and I believe has a great career in front of him and I somehow think the President just might keep tabs on him. My son just graduated from college and now my niece and nephew are graduating. There is hope – we have young people who are racing to the top just like these Memphis students and they are going to make it and they are some of the biggest supporters of our President!

  55. 94 NewCenturyWoman
    May 17, 2011 at 1:17 am

    I’m late to the party, and am just now getting to see the photos and watch the videos of the President’s visit to Memphis. I must say that young Christopher Dean’s introduction of President Obama was so touching and quite timely. I especially like the part where he said “that was a joke,” imitating the President in his recent obliteration of Fox News and Donald Trump and their birther nonsense at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

    The President’s visit to Memphis and his down-to-earth delivery of the commencement address were simply amazing. Today was another reaffirmation that we have the right guy in office, and we need to keep him there for another five and a half years!

  56. 95 HZ
    May 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

    This was so inspirational and loving by the students and the President. I watched and cried. Thank you Chipsticks. You are the best. These students will remember this for years and years to come. What a day for them and their principal and school. I am so proud of them for all of the hard work that they accomplished. Now it is on to college and beyond.

  57. 96 Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad
    May 17, 2011 at 9:33 am

    This is so very inspiring for education. We all know schools like this in our communities. It is a part of the norm that they exist. A norm that we must change when students like these achieve. While watching the Freedom Riders last night, I thought of obstacles that we have today that are similar to that of race hatred. Remember, those that took the pledge to rescue our rights left college during exam week. Not because they were doing poorly but because they had an option to choose. What action would be of more benefit to many. They choose to get on the bus to Alabama. This action born for us the Civil Rights Amendment. The unselfish sacrifice of a few brought about a help for many.

    President Obama, has made such a sacrifice with his choice to be the leader of the free world. Yes, some of us believe, I would take that job anytime, the money, the power and the perks. But along with that comes decisions that are most times unpopular with not only those that don’t like you but also those that love you. No private life. You now belong to the public. Knowing every decision or conversation you have may be made public one hour after you finish speaking.

    Listening to him in this video stream made me want every student in a low performing school to hear him and the words he had for the students at Booker T. Washington. The symbolic significance of this occassion and the historical reference of the Freedom Riders. Let’s me know that we have more work to do. And each occurrance of victory, be it for one person, ten or many. Provides continuity to the struggle for which we have been created.

    Thank you for sharing BlackWater….

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