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First Lady Michelle Obama Inspires Jackson State University’s Graduating Class In Commencement Speech


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Our fabulous First Lady Michelle Obama jetted to Jackson, Mississippi to give an inspirational commencement speech to the 2016 graduating class at Jackson State University. Get the jewels she dropped inside….

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After rubbing elbows with the British royals in London recently, First Lady Michelle Obama swooped down to Jackson, Mississippi where she was tapped to give the 2016 commencement speech at HBCU Jackson State University.

Standing before 800 graduates, FLOTUS offered up several helpful tips and true words of wisdom that the college bound students will carry with them for the rest of the lives.

Below are a few highlights from her speech:

Now, I know, I know that politics has always been a rough sport. I also know that well-meaning folks can get heated in the midst of contentious debates. And in light of today’s 24-hour news cycle, in this era where our Facebook feeds are limited to the voices of folks who think exactly like we do and our TVs and radios are exclusively tuned in to those who tell us only what we want to hear, it’s not surprising that our disagreements have become more personal, more intense. It’s not surprising that we too often demean or dismiss opinions that are different than our own.

But we would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge that those age-old issues that have always roiled our country -– the problems a lot of folks would just rather brush under the rug -– those challenges are still with us today. We can’t deny it.

However, graduates, even in these volatile times, it would be unfair for us to ignore the changes we’ve seen in a generation. No longer can we be barred from a university or a hotel, or arrested for sitting at the front of the bus, or forced to use a separate bathroom or water fountain because of the color of our skin. No one is going to poll test us by demanding that we recite the Constitution or correctly guess the number of jelly beans in a jar before we’re allowed to vote. So, yes, we continue to make progress here in America.

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FLOTUS dropped a few tips on how they should respond to folks who spew hate due to racism and how she and President Barack Obama handle similar situations:

I wish I could say otherwise, graduates, but the question isn’t whether you’re going to come face-to-face with these issues; the question is how you’re going to respond when you do. Are you going to throw up your hands and say that progress will never come? Are you going to get angry or lash out? Are you going to turn inward, and just give in to despair and frustration? Or are you going to take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, lift up your head, and do what Barack Obama has always done –- as he says, “When they go low, I go high.” (Applause.)

That’s the choice Barack and I have made. That’s what has kept us sane over the years. We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness. Instead, we choose faith –- faith in ourselves, in the power of hard work. Faith in our God, whose overwhelming love sustains us every single day. That’s what we choose. (Applause.)

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Mrs. Obama also addressed Mississippi's controversial new Religious Objections Law that allow businesses to refuse services to gay couples based on religious objections.

If we fail to exercise our fundamental right to vote, then I guarantee that so much of the progress we’ve fought for will be under threat. Congress will still be gridlocked. Statehouses will continue to roll back voting rights and write discrimination into the law. We see it right here in Mississippi -- just two weeks ago -– how swiftly progress can hurtle backward, how easy it is to single out a small group and marginalize them because of who they are or who they love.

So we’ve got to stand side by side with all our neighbors –- straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu immigrant, Native American -- because the march for civil rights isn’t just about African Americans, it’s about all Americans. It’s about making things more just, more equal, more free for all our kids and grandkids. That’s the story you all have the opportunity to write. That’s what this historic university has prepared you to do.

Take notes! FLOTUS is dropping jewels.

Peep a clip from her stirring speech below:

Next up? FLOTUS will present commencement speeches at Santa Fe Indian School on May 26th and the City College of New York campus in Harlem on June 3rd.




A video posted by Common (@common) on


Barbershop 3 actor Common hosted annual Common Ground Foundation gala last night to honor a few high school graduates who are headed to college with help from his organization. And his grandmother came out to show her support. He shared a cute video of her on Instagram. Check it above.

And here's Common having fun with a few students on the red carpet:


A video posted by Common (@common) on


He captioned, "I'm so proud of these kids! This is the stuff that's not reported on the news. We must continue to lift them up! @commongroundfnd #TheyThoughtItWasSnapChat" Nice!

Photos: FLOTUS' IG/@jackonstateu/@yolandaforjsu/@the1400klub

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