“I Can’t Wait To See How High You Soar”

@FLOTUS: These @TuskegeeUniv alums met Eleanor Roosevelt during her historic visit in 1941 to fly with the #TuskegeeAirmen


The First Lady’s Commencement Address at Tuskegee University



Thank you all.  (Applause.)  Thank you so much. (Applause.)  Let’s let our graduates rest themselves.  You’ve worked hard for those seats!  (Applause.)

Let me start by thanking President Johnson for that very gracious introduction, and for awarding me with this honorary degree from an extraordinary institution.  I am proud to have this degree — very proud.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you so much.  (Applause.)

I want to recognize Major General Williams; Congresswoman Sewell; Zachary; Kalauna; to all of the trustees, the faculty, the staff here at Tuskegee University.  Thank you — thank you so much for this warm welcome, this tremendous hospitality.  And I’m so glad to be here.  (Applause.)

Before I begin, I just want to say that my heart goes out to everyone who knew and loved Eric Marks, Jr.  I understand he was such a talented young man, a promising aerospace engineer who was well on his way to achieving his dream of following in the footsteps of the Tuskegee Airmen.  And Eric was taken from us far too soon.  And our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with his family, his friends, and this entire community.  (Applause.)

I also have to recognize the Concert Choir.  Wow, you guys are good!  Well done!  (Applause.)  Beautiful song.  (Applause.) And I have to join in recognizing all the folks up in the stands — the parents, siblings, friends — (applause) — so many others who have poured their love and support into these graduates every step of the way.  Yeah, this is your day.  (Applause.)  Your day. (Applause.)

Now, on this day before Mother’s Day, I’ve got to give a special shout-out to all the moms here.  (Applause.)  Yay, moms! And I want you to consider this as a public service announcement for anyone who hasn’t bought the flowers or the cards or the gifts yet — all right?  I’m trying to cover you.  (Laughter.)  But remember that one rule is “keep mom happy.”  (Laughter.)  All right?  (Applause.)

And finally, most of all, I want to congratulate the men and women of the Tuskegee University Class of 2015!  (Applause.)    T-U!

AUDIENCE:  You know!

MRS. OBAMA:  I love that.  (Applause.)  We can do that all day.  (Laughter.)  I’m so proud of you all.  And you look good.  (Applause.)  Well done!

You all have come here from all across the country to study, to learn, maybe have a little fun along the way — from freshman year in Adams or Younge Hall — (applause) — to those late night food runs to The Coop.  (Applause.)  I did my research.  (Applause.)  To those mornings you woke up early to get a spot under The Shed to watch the Golden Tigers play.  (Applause.)  Yeah!  I’ve been watching!  (Laughter.)  At the White House we have all kinds of ways.  (Laughter.)

And whether you played sports yourself, or sang in the choir, or played in the band, or joined a fraternity or sorority — after today, all of you will take your spot in the long line of men and women who have come here and distinguished themselves and this university.

You will follow alums like many of your parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles — leaders like Robert Robinson Taylor, a groundbreaking architect and administrator here who was recently honored on a postage stamp.  (Applause.)  You will follow heroes like Dr. Boynton Robinson — (applause) — who survived the billy clubs and the tear gas of Bloody Sunday in Selma.  The story of Tuskegee is full of stories like theirs — men and women who came to this city, seized their own futures, and wound up shaping the arc of history for African Americans and all Americans.

And I’d like to begin today by reflecting on that history — starting back at the time when the Army chose Tuskegee as the site of its airfield and flight school for black pilots.  (Applause.)

Back then, black soldiers faced all kinds of obstacles.  There were the so-called scientific studies that said that black men’s brains were smaller than white men’s.  Official Army reports stated that black soldiers were “childlike,” “shiftless,” “unmoral and untruthful,” and as one quote stated, “if fed, loyal and compliant.”

So while the Airmen selected for this program were actually highly educated — many already had college degrees and pilots licenses — they were presumed to be inferior.  During training, they were often assigned to menial tasks like housekeeping or landscaping.  Many suffered verbal abuse at the hands of their instructors.  When they ventured off base, the white sheriff here in town called them “boy” and ticketed them for the most minor offenses.  And when they finally deployed overseas, white soldiers often wouldn’t even return their salutes.

Just think about what that must have been like for those young men.  Here they were, trained to operate some of the most complicated, high-tech machines of their day — flying at hundreds of miles an hour, with the tips of their wings just six inches apart.  Yet when they hit the ground, folks treated them like they were nobody — as if their very existence meant nothing.

Now, those Airmen could easily have let that experience clip their wings.  But as you all know, instead of being defined by the discrimination and the doubts of those around them, they became one of the most successful pursuit squadrons in our military.  (Applause.)  They went on to show the world that if black folks and white folks could fight together, and fly together, then surely — surely — they could eat at a lunch counter together.  Surely their kids could go to school together. (Applause.)

You see, those Airmen always understood that they had a “double duty” — one to their country and another to all the black folks who were counting on them to pave the way forward.  (Applause.)  So for those Airmen, the act of flying itself was a symbol of liberation for themselves and for all African Americans.

One of those first pilots, a man named Charles DeBow, put it this way.  He said that a takeoff was — in his words — “a never-failing miracle” where all “the bumps would smooth off… [you’re] in the air… out of this world… free.”

And when he was up in the sky, Charles sometimes looked down to see black folks out in the cotton fields not far from here — the same fields where decades before, their ancestors as slaves. And he knew that he was taking to the skies for them — to give them and their children something more to hope for, something to aspire to.

And in so many ways, that never-failing miracle — the constant work to rise above the bumps in our path to greater freedom for our brothers and sisters — that has always been the story of African Americans here at Tuskegee.  (Applause.)

Just think about the arc of this university’s history.  Back in the late 1800s, the school needed a new dormitory, but there was no money to pay for it.  So Booker T. Washington pawned his pocket watch to buy a kiln, and students used their bare hands to make bricks to build that dorm — and a few other buildings along the way.  (Applause.)

A few years later, when George Washington Carver first came here for his research, there was no laboratory.  So he dug through trash piles and collected old bottles, and tea cups, and fruit jars to use in his first experiments.

Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era.  And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country — and continued to lift others up along the way.  (Applause.)

And while the history of this campus isn’t perfect, the defining story of Tuskegee is the story of rising hopes and fortunes for all African Americans.

And now, graduates, it’s your turn to take up that cause.  And let me tell you, you should feel so proud of making it to this day.  And I hope that you’re excited to get started on that next chapter.  But I also imagine that you might think about all that history, all those heroes who came before you — you might also feel a little pressure, you know — pressure to live up to the legacy of those who came before you; pressure to meet the expectations of others.

And believe me, I understand that kind of pressure.  (Applause.)  I’ve experienced a little bit of it myself.  You see, graduates, I didn’t start out as the fully-formed First Lady who stands before you today.  No, no, I had my share of bumps along the way.

Back when my husband first started campaigning for President, folks had all sorts of questions of me:  What kind of First Lady would I be?  What kinds of issues would I take on?  Would I be more like Laura Bush, or Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Reagan?  And the truth is, those same questions would have been posed to any candidate’s spouse.  That’s just the way the process works.  But, as potentially the first African American First Lady, I was also the focus of another set of questions and speculations; conversations sometimes rooted in the fears and misperceptions of others.  Was I too loud, or too angry, or too emasculating?  (Applause.) Or was I too soft, too much of a mom, not enough of a career woman?

Then there was the first time I was on a magazine cover — it was a cartoon drawing of me with a huge afro and machine gun. Now, yeah, it was satire, but if I’m really being honest, it knocked me back a bit.  It made me wonder, just how are people seeing me.

Or you might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a “terrorist fist jab.”  And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me.  One said I exhibited “a little bit of uppity-ism.“  Another noted that I was one of my husband’s “cronies of color.”  Cable news once charmingly referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”

And of course, Barack has endured his fair share of insults and slights.  Even today, there are still folks questioning his citizenship.

And all of this used to really get to me.  Back in those days, I had a lot of sleepless nights, worrying about what people thought of me, wondering if I might be hurting my husband’s chances of winning his election, fearing how my girls would feel if they found out what some people were saying about their mom.

But eventually, I realized that if I wanted to keep my sanity and not let others define me, there was only one thing I could do, and that was to have faith in God’s plan for me.  (Applause.)  I had to ignore all of the noise and be true to myself — and the rest would work itself out.  (Applause.)

So throughout this journey, I have learned to block everything out and focus on my truth.  I had to answer some basic questions for myself:  Who am I?  No, really, who am I?  What do I care about?

And the answers to those questions have resulted in the woman who stands before you today.  (Applause.)  A woman who is, first and foremost, a mom.  (Applause.)  Look, I love our daughters more than anything in the world, more than life itself. And while that may not be the first thing that some folks want to hear from an Ivy-league educated lawyer, it is truly who I am.  (Applause.)  So for me, being Mom-in-Chief is, and always will be, job number one.

Next, I’ve always felt a deep sense of obligation to make the biggest impact possible with this incredible platform.  So I took on issues that were personal to me — issues like helping families raise healthier kids, honoring the incredible military families I’d met on the campaign trail, inspiring our young people to value their education and finish college.  (Applause.)

Now, some folks criticized my choices for not being bold enough.  But these were my choices, my issues.  And I decided to tackle them in the way that felt most authentic to me — in a way that was both substantive and strategic, but also fun and, hopefully, inspiring.

So I immersed myself in the policy details.  I worked with Congress on legislation, gave speeches to CEOs, military generals and Hollywood executives.  But I also worked to ensure that my efforts would resonate with kids and families — and that meant doing things in a creative and unconventional way.  So, yeah, I planted a garden, and hula-hooped on the White House Lawn with kids.  I did some Mom Dancing on TV.  I celebrated military kids with Kermit the Frog.  I asked folks across the country to wear their alma mater’s T-shirts for College Signing Day.

And at the end of the day, by staying true to the me I’ve always known, I found that this journey has been incredibly freeing.  Because no matter what happened, I had the peace of mind of knowing that all of the chatter, the name calling, the doubting — all of it was just noise.  (Applause.)  It did not define me.  It didn’t change who I was.  And most importantly, it couldn’t hold me back.  I have learned that as long as I hold fast to my beliefs and values — and follow my own moral compass — then the only expectations I need to live up to are my own.

So, graduates, that’s what I want for all of you.  I want you all to stay true to the most real, most sincere, most authentic parts of yourselves.  I want you to ask those basic questions:  Who do you want to be?  What inspires you?  How do you want to give back?  And then I want you to take a deep breath and trust yourselves to chart your own course and make your mark on the world.

Maybe it feels like you’re supposed to go to law school — but what you really want to do is to teach little kids.  Maybe your parents are expecting you to come back home after you graduate — but you’re feeling a pull to travel the world.  I want you to listen to those thoughts.  I want you to act with both your mind, but also your heart.  And no matter what path you choose, I want you to make sure it’s you choosing it, and not someone else.  (Applause.)

Because here’s the thing — the road ahead is not going to be easy.  It never is, especially for folks like you and me.  Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is that those age-old problems are stubborn and they haven’t fully gone away.  So there will be times, just like for those Airmen, when you feel like folks look right past you, or they see just a fraction of who you really are.

The world won’t always see you in those caps and gowns.  They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to make it to this day — the countless hours you spent studying to get this diploma, the multiple jobs you worked to pay for school, the times you had to drive home and take care of your grandma, the evenings you gave up to volunteer at a food bank or organize a campus fundraiser.  They don’t know that part of you.

Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world.  And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be.  We’ve both felt the sting of those daily slights throughout our entire lives — the folks who crossed the street in fear of their safety; the clerks who kept a close eye on us in all those department stores; the people at formal events who assumed we were the “help” — and those who have questioned our intelligence, our honesty, even our love of this country.

 And I know that these little indignities are obviously nothing compared to what folks across the country are dealing with every single day — those nagging worries that you’re going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason; the fear that your job application will be overlooked because of the way your name sounds; the agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal; the realization that no matter how far you rise in life, how hard you work to be a good person, a good parent, a good citizen — for some folks, it will never be enough.  (Applause.)

And all of that is going to be a heavy burden to carry.  It can feel isolating.  It can make you feel like your life somehow doesn’t matter — that you’re like the invisible man that Tuskegee grad Ralph Ellison wrote about all those years ago.  And as we’ve seen over the past few years, those feelings are real.  They’re rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible.  And those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.  (Applause.)

But, graduates, today, I want to be very clear that those feelings are not an excuse to just throw up our hands and give up.  (Applause.)  Not an excuse.  They are not an excuse to lose hope.  To succumb to feelings of despair and anger only means that in the end, we lose.

But here’s the thing — our history provides us with a better story, a better blueprint for how we can win.  It teaches us that when we pull ourselves out of those lowest emotional depths, and we channel our frustrations into studying and organizing and banding together — then we can build ourselves and our communities up.  We can take on those deep-rooted problems, and together — together — we can overcome anything that stands in our way.

And the first thing we have to do is vote.  (Applause.)    Hey, no, not just once in a while.  Not just when my husband or somebody you like is on the ballot.  But in every election at every level, all of the time.  (Applause.)  Because here is the truth — if you want to have a say in your community, if you truly want the power to control your own destiny, then you’ve got to be involved.  You got to be at the table.  You’ve got to vote, vote, vote, vote.  That’s it; that’s the way we move forward. That’s how we make progress for ourselves and for our country.

That’s what’s always happened here at Tuskegee.  Think about those students who made bricks with their bare hands.  They did it so that others could follow them and learn on this campus, too.  Think about that brilliant scientist who made his lab from a trash pile.  He did it because he ultimately wanted to help sharecroppers feed their families.  Those Airmen who rose above brutal discrimination — they did it so the whole world could see just how high black folks could soar.  That’s the spirit we’ve got to summon to take on the challenges we face today.  (Applause.)

And you don’t have to be President of the United States to start addressing things like poverty, and education, and lack of opportunity.  Graduates, today — today, you can mentor a young person and make sure he or she takes the right path.  Today, you can volunteer at an after-school program or food pantry.  Today, you can help your younger cousin fill out her college financial aid form so that she could be sitting in those chairs one day.  (Applause.)  But just like all those folks who came before us, you’ve got to do something to lay the groundwork for future generations.

That pilot I mentioned earlier — Charles DeBow — he didn’t rest on his laurels after making history.  Instead, after he left the Army, he finished his education.  He became a high school English teacher and a college lecturer.  He kept lifting other folks up through education.  He kept fulfilling his “double duty” long after he hung up his uniform.

And, graduates, that’s what we need from all of you.  We need you to channel the magic of Tuskegee toward the challenges of today.  And here’s what I really want you to know — you have got everything you need to do this.  You’ve got it in you. Because even if you’re nervous or unsure about what path to take in the years ahead, I want you to realize that you’ve got everything you need right now to succeed.  You’ve got it.

You’ve got the knowledge and the skills honed here on this hallowed campus.  You’ve got families up in the stands who will support you every step of the way.  And most of all, you’ve got yourselves — and all of the heart, and grit, and smarts that got you to this day.

And if you rise above the noise and the pressures that surround you, if you stay true to who you are and where you come from, if you have faith in God’s plan for you, then you will keep fulfilling your duty to people all across this country.  And as the years pass, you’ll feel the same freedom that Charles DeBow did when he was taking off in that airplane.  You will feel the bumps smooth off.  You’ll take part in that “never-failing miracle” of progress.  And you’ll be flying through the air, out of this world — free.

God bless you, graduates.  (Applause.)  I can’t wait to see how high you soar.  Love you all.  Very proud.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

134 Responses to ““I Can’t Wait To See How High You Soar””

  1. May 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for this, Chips! I used to go to Tuskegee (20 minutes from Auburn) on the weekends for some fun…wish I was there today!

  2. May 9, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    From end of last thread:

    Don’t miss this smackdown President Obama put on Senator Warren either:

    “She’s absolutely wrong,” Barack Obama said, before I could even get the question out of my mouth. He was talking about Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator and populist crusader whom Obama helped elevate to national prominence. Warren generally reserves her more acid critiques for Republicans and Wall Street, but in recent weeks she’s been leading a vocal coalition of leftist groups and lawmakers who oppose the president’s free-trade pact with 12 Asian countries. This past week, as I had just reminded Obama, Warren launched her heaviest torpedo yet against the trade deal, alleging that some future president might use it as an excuse to undo the reregulation of Wall Street that Obama signed into law in 2010. In fact, as the White House quickly pointed out, language in the pact would expressly prevent that unless Congress voted to allow it…

    …Three days after that broadside, when we sat down at Nike’s headquarters outside Portland, Ore., Obama still seemed unusually irritated. “Think about the logic of that, right?” he went on. “The notion that I had this massive fight with Wall Street to make sure that we don’t repeat what happened in 2007, 2008. And then I sign a provision that would unravel it? “I’d have to be pretty stupid,” Obama said, laughing. “This is pure speculation. She and I both taught law school, and you know, one of the things you do as a law professor is you spin out hypotheticals. And this is all hypothetical, speculative.” Obama wasn’t through. He wanted me to know, in pointed terms, that for all the talk about her populist convictions, Warren had a personal brand she was trying to promote, too. “The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else,” he said. “And you know, she’s got a voice that she wants to get out there. And I understand that. And on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her arguments don’t stand the test of fact and scrutiny…..continued:

    • 33 MightyPamela
      May 9, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      I admit I gave her a bit of a smackdown myself, not as eloquently as PBO, of course, when I found her ranting in an email (in my SPAM folder) and declaring Pamela MUST join forces with her and #eversotiredofhillary) to keep Obama from destroying the entire country. Right. BuhBye, elizabeth, I said, in not very kindly tones. I may have suggested that if she comes back to her senses, I will tune in again. And I certainly did thank her for all the good work she has done, until this.

      • May 9, 2015 at 9:39 pm

        I left you a question in a post the other day wondering if the Army Core of Engineers plan to gun down birds on the Columbia River to save Salmon was a big news item in your neck of the woods?

  3. May 9, 2015 at 5:53 pm

  4. May 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I can’t stop laughing…Chips is this Ireland’s greatest export? 😆

    “Amazingly, because it was neatly drawn withing the confines of the box the returning officer deemed it a valid vote” 😀 😀 😀

  5. 46 vcprezofan2
    May 9, 2015 at 6:01 pm


    MAY 9th, 1961
    Civil Rights Leader John Lewis Assaulted at South Carolina Greyhound Bus Terminal
    On May 9, 1961, 21-year-old John Lewis, civil rights activist and now United States Congressman from Georgia, was savagely assaulted by a mob at the Rock Hill, South Carolina, Greyhound bus terminal. A few days earlier, John Lewis and twelve Freedom Riders, seven African Americans and six whites, left Washington, D.C., on a Greyhound bus headed to New Orleans. They sat interracially on the bus, planning to test a Supreme Court ruling that made segregation in interstate transportation illegal.
    The Freedom Riders rode safely through Virginia and North Carolina, but experienced violence when …………………//


  6. May 9, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    ohhhh myyyy goooodnesss…..what an awesome awesome commencement speech from the first lady…she said what had to be said…so much power…so much power in her words…esp when she told the students that they had everything in themselves to succeed…what a powerful message of HOPE…GRIT and Self Determination….brought tears to my eyes…and joy to my heart!

  7. 50 carolyn
    May 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Oh my….I just finished reading Michelle’s Tuskegee address…….sitting here with tears in my eyes. How poignant, pointed, rich, historic, inspiring, real…….she opened up so much of herself…….and put it so beautifully and to such good purpose for her audience, and yes……all of us.
    How smart and fortunate we were to elect this president and with him his wife in 2008 and 2012.

    Not surprised that she is the first FLOTUS to go to Tuskegee since Eleanor Roosevelt……she is the greatest First Lady since Eleanor. No one compares.

  8. 53 GGail
    May 9, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    That is a beautiful commencement speech. I think I enjoyed it much more by reading her words. Thank you Chips. You are AWESOME!

  9. 56 Roberta in MN
    May 9, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Great speech b our First Lady, just finished reading it all. Thanks so much Chips. In fact, thanks for all you, Nerdy, LL & LP doe on this site. It is awesome.

  10. 57 Roberta in MN
    May 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    So, where can I see the full interview with the POTUS?

  11. 58 donna dem 4 obama
    May 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Good Evening TOD

    In honor of this Mother’s Day Weekend I dare you to have a dry eye after watching this…

    Have a great weekend everyone!!

    “you can have our old house”

  12. 63 susanne
    May 9, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    brava chips! fantastic post! once again, you’re the news site with the whole story, beautifully told.
    mahalo nui~

  13. May 9, 2015 at 6:26 pm

  14. 69 desertflower
    May 9, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    FLOTUS is phenomenal!!!! That is all:) What an uplifting and empowering speech she made to those graduates…I hope they are all inspired to take on the world and do good…

  15. May 9, 2015 at 6:37 pm

  16. May 9, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    “Prince just dropped a new song onto his SoundCloud (which is also new), and it’s a tribute to Freddie Gray and the people of Baltimore. “Baltimore” is a delicate gospel track with a sly funk lining — it’s got a Graffiti Bridge vibe to it — and paints a picture of people struggling against a world that’s inherently hostile toward them. And there’s some classic Purple One philosophizing going on too: “Peace is more than the absence of a war…continued”

    Prince will perform a concert in Baltimore tomorrow, which you’ll be able to stream live on Tidal http://tidal.com/us

  17. May 9, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    • 81 GGail
      May 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm

      Hahahaha, you’re on a roll Chips

      • May 9, 2015 at 7:21 pm

        I’m looking at that gutted sheep and thinking, ‘jeez, life is short, might as well go for it’ 🙂

        • 83 globalcitizenlinda
          May 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm

          please don’t give your self the life span of that gutted cuddly sheep – you know you live with “suspect No 1” who keeps surprising in his actions toward ANY toy.

          we still need you alive and well in the world

          • May 9, 2015 at 8:29 pm

            😆 And the funniest thing Linda, Danny is asleep at my feet, cuddled up with his gutted sheep – his sheep would have been SO much more cuddly if it was still stuffed! Why can’t Danny understand that – they say Labradors are intelligent 🙄

            • 85 globalcitizenlinda
              May 9, 2015 at 8:40 pm

              guess he is just curious and just wants to know what the most recent “toy destruction” feels like

    • May 9, 2015 at 8:19 pm

      Oooooooooooooooooooo…ohhh myyyyyy…..get it Ms Chipssssssssss

  18. May 9, 2015 at 7:11 pm

  19. May 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

  20. May 9, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I remember when it was a fact that you left the President family alone, specially the kids. But we know the racists right wing haters have done nothing but disrespect Mrs. Michelle Obama. Remember the Congressman who made some comment about Mrs. Obama butt. As much as Democrats dislike G.W. Bush I do not recall anyone disrespecting Laura Bush like that. And most of the people left the Bush Twins alone too, till then started acting up like drinking and carrying on. Wait and see the racists right wing haters will have something to say about this Tuskegee speech. Like they did about the speech Mrs. Obama gave at the re-opening of the Whitney Museum., calling her a racists because she said that black kids did not feel welcome to museums. And oh course they didn’t say it like she did.

    May 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm


  22. May 9, 2015 at 7:22 pm


  23. 99 sjterrid
    May 9, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Chips, thank you for posting Michelle’s Tuskegee University Graduation Address. It was great reading her very powerful moving words to the graduating class.

    May 9, 2015 at 7:32 pm


  25. May 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Good evening TODr family,
    I had to come out of lurking mode and birthday mood that I share with 57 on May 7th.
    I just had to say how remarkable and uplifting that speech made me feel.
    I read every word and I am still in tears.
    She took it there and back!

    It is sad some people do not understand or really care what beautiful souls these two people have shared with us.
    I am so grateful for them and the sacrifices they had to face from the day they came into our lives.
    I am so glad that she is free to be who God has predestined her to be.
    Her inside beauty is what makes her glow and keeps her young at heart.
    Thank you First Lady Michelle for a true speech from your heart.

    • 108 sjterrid
      May 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      LDS, Happy Belated Birthday!

      • May 9, 2015 at 9:26 pm

        sjterrid, thank you!
        It just gets better with time.
        Also having the best POTUS, FLOTUS, VP and Dr. Jill Biden sure helps.
        These 7 plus years will help to take me out of here with a blissful smile.

    • 110 Judith Fardig
      May 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Happy (belated) Birthday to LDS and 57&Female! Hope you two had a grand time!

  26. 111 Nena20409
    May 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Excellent, Chips. Thank you for posting FLOTUS’ address before the 2015 Minted Graduates from Tuskegee University.
    It is a Great presentation from the one and only, Lovely…… Mrs Michelle Obama.
    The Truth she beautifully delivered.
    TOD Rocks!
    Congrats G ❤ B on your Gold ⭐

  27. May 9, 2015 at 7:54 pm

  28. 116 jacquelineoboomer
    May 9, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    Oh, my, Chips – thank you so much for bringing us the transcript. ❤

  29. May 9, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    That is the light we should be looking at trade with: public policy. So far, through the public policy of trade, we have only addressed the rights of corporations, and the TPP would become the first – and trendsetting – agreement to not simply recognize the rights of workers (including to collectively bargain and to a minimum wage) and communities (to live in a safe environment) but to make those rights an integral and enforceable part of the deal. In fact, with the TPP, those rights would take precedence over corporate rights.

  30. May 9, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    At some point Chips will stop buying cuddly things for Danny.

  31. 120 globalcitizenlinda
    May 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    if current the vote count is to be believed, the TPP will pass.

    I think Senator Warren and The Democrats who oppose TPP would best serve their constituents if they offered concrete suggestions of how it could be improved so that it protects the things and rights we all care about.

    instead, taking a NO stand and putting your hands in the ears, stumping your feet, will deny the opportunity to make the final outcome more robust;

    reminds me of the approach Bibi took and lost the opportunity to include any concerns he and his team felt had been overlooked;

    Sen Sherrod Brown is my senator and I will be going to his office and demanding that he comes up with concrete suggestions instead of just saying no

  32. 121 amk for obama
    May 9, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Great speech. She laid it into the basic sick dna of murkkka.

  33. May 9, 2015 at 8:53 pm

  34. May 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    I admired Senator Warren, greatly, as many of you know.

    That admiration is now a smoking pile of disgust.

    No, I do not consider politics the art of deception. I do not consider politics ‘dirty.’ I do not consider politics ‘dishonorable.’

    Those are attributes ascribed to humans whose pride & greed drive them to denigrate the art of community-serving consensus – the true art of politics.

    Perhaps someday she’ll find a way to restore her credibility and honor. If she does, I’ll be very pleased for her redemption.

    #TrustBarack …. because he earns it everyday

    • 125 Judith Fardig
      May 9, 2015 at 9:20 pm

      I’m with you, Bobfr, on Elizabeth Warren’s self-aggrandizing TPP/TPA rants. You know the lefty purists will dump her off the pedestal they put her on as soon as she does the first thing they don’t like.

      • May 9, 2015 at 9:22 pm

        ” You know the lefty purists will dump her off the pedestal they put her on as soon as she does the first thing they don’t like.”

        So true, Judith.

        BTW, I have had a smile on my face these past two days because of the fact that you and your outstanding OFA partners had such amazing interactions and experiences with our President. All of you earned it, for sure, and I know he truly appreciates each of you.


      • May 9, 2015 at 9:49 pm

        May I just join in and say that I am so embarrassed that I was even listening to her.
        What happened?
        I am so glad PBO is not backing down for Elizabeth’s politicking bullshit.
        She got caught up in herself and she needs to apologize.
        PBO has already forgiven her by calling her out.
        I am still trying to forgive myself for thinking she was humble.

  35. 129 globalcitizenlinda
    May 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    amazed by how young and strong the Tuskegee Alumni who met Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt still look in the caption photo with FLOTUS

  36. May 9, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Cool ….

  37. May 10, 2015 at 8:05 am

    🌹💐🌷 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all TOD mothers, grandmothers and mothers to be. 🌹💐🌷

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