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Friday, June 14, 2024

Daniel Black reacts to his viral HBCU speech


Atlanta–Daniel Black, Ph.D, recently sat down with myself, Tolly Carr, here at HBCU Gameday to talk about the viral speech he delivered at the 2024 Clark Atlanta University commencement. He discussed the ways in which his life has been impacted since then as well as the impact he hopes that his speech will continue to have. You can watch the full video of the interview here as well as reading along with the below transcript.

We pick up the conversation after Black has been welcomed to the show and answers the first question of the day.

Transcript Follows

Daniel Black:

Man, I’m flying high these days. Everything’s great. The residue from the speech has been a dream come true. Of course, I had no idea that the speech would hit like this, would hit this hard, but it’s been just glorious. It’s been wonderful. And I think the greatest thing is the pride in HBCU students. The way in which the speech really ignited a kind of joy and celebration for folks who have attended historically Black colleges and universities, and that’s been worth it all.

Tolly Carr:

That thing hit, Doc, right off the top.

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

If it was a track meet, this was the 400-meter dash. It wasn’t the 800, it wasn’t the 1,600.

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

You don’t get a chance to warm up-

Daniel Black:

That’s right.

Tolly Carr:

… get a pace lap and then turn it on.

Daniel Black:

That’s right.

Tolly Carr:

From the first step to the last step-

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

… it was full throttle. Your heart is beating. It’s emotional all the way through.

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

Was that your intent?

Daniel Black:

It was, because so much was at stake, brother, at this. So much was at stake. I’m a sitting faculty member. I am currently a faculty member at Clark Atlanta. And from what I know, faculty members are never asked to be the commencement speaker. That just never happens, really anywhere. Not just Clark, anywhere. And when the president of Clark Atlanta University, Dr. French, asked me, of course I was overwhelmed. I was elated. But I said, “This has got to be good. It’s got to be right.” Because, again, so much at stake, I knew he was taking a chance. I’m not a celebrity. Certainly, I wasn’t then.

And I said, “I got to give this my best shot.” And so in the weeks prior to delivering the speech, I went over it every now and then, I read it through my mind as I’m jogging, or whatever. And every now and then I tweak it a little. But the truth of the matter is it all came to me one day all in just one sitting. I turned on my computer and it flooded just like I gave it to you. I do public speaking all the time, so that’s not new. I just wanted this to really be special. And quite frankly, I was talking to the students. I was talking to the students, I was talking to folks who went to Clark. This was a very much in home, at home address. And once I started, I said, “I got to hit hard and finish.”

Because on graduation day, no one wants to hear a long speech. Kids are ready to go. “Give me my degree. I’m ready to go.” And so, initially I was trying to do five minutes, literally. I said, “I want to hit it and sit down.” And then when I realized all the things I wanted to do, I wanted to connect them to the legacy of Clark. I wanted them to help them be proud of what it meant to be a CAU graduate. But I also wanted to make sure they understood that somebody had paid for them, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So when I put it all together, it was about 12, 13 minutes. And then the morning of the speech I just got up and I said, “Okay, God, here we go. Here we go.”

Tolly Carr:

You were the underdog that weekend.

Daniel Black:

Oh, for sure.

Tolly Carr:

In the AUC, it was President Biden.

Daniel Black:

That’s right.

Tolly Carr:

All right. We had some Hollywood over, it spelled [inaudible 00:04:18]-

Daniel Black:

Angela Bassett was over there. Again, you see how much was at stake. I mean, literally everything was at stake here. I said, “God, this is either going to really exalt me or this going to be a disaster, and I refuse for this to be a disaster.”

Tolly Carr:

Was it all written out or was it bullet points?

Daniel Black:

No, it was all written out. Because, again, so much was at stake. I couldn’t get up there and freeze and lose words. I said, “I need this to go like…” And of course, I did a little ad-libbing in a few places, but 95% of it is on the page. Yeah.

Tolly Carr:

Because it felt like it came from your soul, and not from the-

Daniel Black:

Oh, absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

It went from your soul to the paper, to the people.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah.

Tolly Carr:

First, the Black Sheep reference off the top, where did that come from? And if you’re not of our age or ilk or a hip hop aficionado. Here they come, y’all. Here they come.

Daniel Black:

And what’s funny is, I didn’t get that from Black Sheep.

Tolly Carr:

Oh, you didn’t?

Daniel Black:

I did not.

Tolly Carr:

I thought that was straight Black Sheep.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely not. That was just in my own head.

Tolly Carr:

Because that’s what triggered me

Daniel Black:

Someone else mentioned Black Sheep, and I was like, “Who’s Black Sheep? What were they from?” I know now.

Tolly Carr:

That’s what I thought looked. That’s what it felt like.

Daniel Black:

No, absolutely not. Absolutely not.

Tolly Carr:

I’m glad I asked, I just assumed.

Daniel Black:

No.

Tolly Carr:

Because the other hip hop references, I was like, all right, he started with some Kendrick

Daniel Black:

No. The irony of it, then I went and listened to Black Sheep and I was like, “Oh, my gosh. How funny is that?” So crazy. Crazy.

Tolly Carr:

Have you felt the weight in a good way of your words? Or, I know you have. What has that weight felt like from the reception of what you had to say

Daniel Black:

Absolutely, I have felt the weight. It’s been enormously heavy and enormously exhilarating. I just never believed as a writer that this moment would come, that this kind of recognition would come. The phone calls, brother, the emails.

Tolly Carr:

How long did it take before you felt it? How long did it take after the speech before you realized, oh, something is different here?

Clark Atlanta University Dr. Daniel Black HBCU Commencement speech talks with Tolly CarrClark Atlanta University Dr. Daniel Black HBCU Commencement speech talks with Tolly Carr

Daniel Black:

10 minutes. Literally. No. No. Literally. Before I left the graduation my phone had probably maybe 280 text messages. And I was like, I didn’t even know you could get that many in a day. And it probably took me three hours just to walk to my car after the graduation exercise. In no exaggeration, literally. People stopping me, crying, wanting to hug me, wanting to take pictures, all this. And I’m like, “I think something happened here.” This was before it just kind of blew up. I got home about four o’clock. Graduation started at eight. When I got home, my phone was just blowing off the… It was insane. It was something insane. And I said, “What is going on here?” And a friend of mine called me and said, “Black, you better look at Facebook.” And it was like 70,000. Then an hour later, 90,000. I was like, “Whoa, this is crazy.” And of course, now it’s a half million. And it has just been something remarkable. And again, I’ve gotten calls from some of the most powerful people in America. In this nation, literally.

Tolly Carr:

Which one has impressed you the most so far? Or just stood out in your mind like, oh my God, this person has reached out?

Daniel Black:

Probably Senator Warnock.

Tolly Carr:

Wow.

Daniel Black:

Yeah. Because he was so moved and he was so appreciative, and he was so expressive of what he thought was the power of the speech and how it moved him. And I love him. I think he’s awesome. And he was just saying very much what you said, get ready. Because this is something that not just CAU, that Black America has needed for so long. And I think the thing that’s probably moved me most is the number of Black children, especially high school students in America who have texted me or written me and said, “I never considered a Black college until now.” That really moves me.

Tolly Carr:

I felt like your speech encapsulated the Black experience no matter where-

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

… you are on that spectrum.

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

That had to be intentional on your part.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. That was incredibly intentional. Because, yes, I’m talking to Clark, but I wanted to talk really to any Black student anywhere, whoever went to a Black college. Because Black colleges share a history. We share a legacy. And what I’m very clear about is part of that history, part of that legacy is Black people, Black professors, Black parents, Black grandmothers, grandfathers, et cetera, sacrificing for the possibility that we would exchange chains for knowledge. Black schools are in this tradition of educating people who America didn’t want. I think that’s extremely important to understand. Black schools were and are training Black kids that America did not want. And in many instances still doesn’t want. And so we’re making room for those folks who, in many instances, the rest of America throws away. And we do this transformative work.

I’ve been at Clark now 30 something years. We do this transformative work. We make sacrifices. Unheard of sacrifices. I really cannot tell you the sacrifices that Black college professors make for Black kids to graduate. We pay tuitions to the very school where we’re working. We buy books and hand them to kids. If the book is the only reason that you can’t take this class, I got you. We buy the book and hand it. We take kids to lunch. We keep kids over Christmas breaks for six weeks at a time because they’re from California and I don’t have enough money to go to California and back. I paid all my money in the tuition. Fine, come on. We do that. And I mean quite literally I’ve done that more times than I could ever possibly count. And then on graduation day, that’s why we’re screaming and hollering.

Tolly Carr:

I often describe what we do at HBCU Game Day as mission work. Because you have a mission, and there are going to be obstacles. And sometimes the obstacles come from the people that you want to be or expect to be on your own team.

Daniel Black:

It’s true. It’s true.

Tolly Carr:

And you have to power through that and look past that.

Daniel Black:

It’s true. Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

What rejuvenates you for 30 plus years to be able to go through the obstacles, to be able to go through the things that are just like, it doesn’t have to be this way? It should be a little easier, but you still go.

Daniel Black:

When a student passes the bar who was in my freshman English class, and wrote poorly then, that motivates me. And they always, always call and tell it. Or send you a letter and say, “Hey, Dr. Black, I’m in Scotland now. I have 10 students with me from a high school. I’m teaching in Connecticut, and I’m teaching them lift every voice and sing on the bus.” That kind of thing. Just like, it was worth it. Yes. Or, in fact, a student wrote me maybe two or three months ago now who said he was at the door of no return in Ghana, at Cape something in Ghana. And he said, “I’m reading to my students your book, The Coming, as I’m looking out over the water.” Oh, I had chills all over me. And he said, “You might have thought I wasn’t paying attention, but I was.” See that, it’s like, okay, let’s keep going. It’s going to work.

Tolly Carr:

I was an adjunct professor at Winston-Salem State for about 10 years. And the feeling when your students go above and beyond-

Daniel Black:

Oh, my God.

Tolly Carr:

… even things that you have done.

Daniel Black:

Oh, my God.

Tolly Carr:

And you can look to them sometimes for expertise or knowledge, and you can connect with them.

Daniel Black:

For sure. For sure.

Tolly Carr:

Especially the ones that you thought-

Daniel Black:

The knuckleheads.

Tolly Carr:

Yes.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Sure.

Tolly Carr:

I won’t name names. There’s this girl that… I didn’t see it, but she did it.

Dr. Black laughs along with Tolly Carr during interview about his viral CAU speech.

Daniel Black:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It happens. It happens. Because in many instances we’re also taking chances. There are kids who come who are not academically prepared, but they’re smart people. And see, that’s the difference that an HBCU makes. In many instances, an HBCU accepts the application of a child who we know if this child metaphorically will settle into this earth, we’re going to get a tree. We’re going to get a tree here. We’re going to get a tree out of this kid. If they’ll just settle into the earth, it’s going to… Even if they don’t believe it, we see it.

Tolly Carr:

Because the soil matters.

Daniel Black:

That’s right. That’s right. The sunshine matters. We know the excellence of the soil, because that’s who we are. We got that. If you get here, we got it. It’s going to happen. What I think happens in America is a lot of kids get rejected from school because the GPA, their standardized test scores are not good. I get it. All right. But the standardized test score does not tell you the quality of the seed. I think that’s very important to understand. It does tell you the history of it. It tells you what the child hasn’t done, it doesn’t tell you what the child could do. And so the gamble at HBCU is we’re saying, just give me the seed. And the metaphor for me works because from the time we got here, brother, we’ve been the planters. We know seed. We know good seed, we know bad seed. We also know good soil, we know bad. We were the farmers, so we know how to bring forth magic from a seed, and that’s what I think we do.

Tolly Carr:

My grandparents were sharecroppers, and they often tell the stories when they were alive. How them other folks messed up the land? You got to rotate the crops.

Daniel Black:

You got to rotate them crops. Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

You got to throw in soybeans when you-

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

You cannot maximize-

Daniel Black:

You cannot.

Tolly Carr:

… cotton every year.

Daniel Black:

That’s right.

Tolly Carr:

You’re going to mess up the soil.

Daniel Black:

That’s right. You’re going to drain the soil. Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

There’s so many connections through the generations. I want to go back to your speech. I would imagine at some point… If I were you, I would’ve felt like I was having an out of body experience. I would’ve felt like I was looking at myself talking, looking at the crowd’s reaction and thinking, “What is happening here? This is something different.”

Daniel Black:

Well, again, I have to admit, I’m a public speaker, so I do this very, very, very often. Churches, conventions, et cetera. I’m speaking somewhere practically every week somewhere, so I do this often. The truth of the matter is, when I gave the speech I really didn’t even realize the reaction at all until I later went back and watched the video. Because I’m so zoned at the moment, I’m very much concerned about things like rhythm, pace. Do I have the right rhythm here? Is my cadence correct in terms of delivery? Those are the things I’m very much concerned about. I did hear applause. I did not remember the roaring, the way I heard it when I went back to the video. I was like, “Oh my God, these people are screaming.”

Tolly Carr:

Off top. Off top.

Daniel Black:

I did not remember it that way. I just didn’t, because again, I was so zoned. I didn’t even remember my president saying a word, but he was up a couple of times. And so when I went back and watched it, I was like, “Oh my God, what in the world happened here?”

Tolly Carr:

All right, I’m going to make a comparison. And historical comparisons are hard because history has so much runway after the event has happened.

Daniel Black:

Sure. Sure.

Tolly Carr:

I listened to the speech again today on the way here, I put it on Bluetooth in the car. The one thing it made me think about, “I had a dream” speech in this regard. About the last 10 seconds, if you go back and listen. When your speech is over, the instant conversation that I could hear in the background from the camera of people already discussing-

Daniel Black:

See, I didn’t hear any of that.

Tolly Carr:

… and talking about your speech in the moment it was over, made me think about… It reminded me of the rumblings when Martin left the podium.

Daniel Black:

Yes, yes. Oh, yes.

Tolly Carr:

And I was like, this is even a bigger moment now that I put that perspective to it.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. And I heard none of that. Of course, I heard none of that. And there were many, many folks in the audience when we processed out, and I was walking by parents and people and faculty and students. People were like, “Dr. Black, oh my God, you have no idea.” And that’s the first time I heard people’s laden response. And I was looking, and some people were weeping. And I was like, “What the hell?” I didn’t have it. You know what I mean? I just didn’t get it. But again, when I went back and saw the video, I was like, “I think I really said something here.” And then by the time everybody had processed out and the ceremony ended, it was really the way parents swarmed me when I first got it. I was like, “Oh my God, what happened here?” And the way my phone and my social media blew up was something I have never experienced in my life.

Tolly Carr:

Okay, people want gems from you in the future. How can they connect with you on social media?

Daniel Black:

Yes. I’m at Instagram and Facebook, those are the main ones. Just Daniel Black. If you put in Daniel Black, you’ll find me. And I have a new website that I would direct folks to. That’s DanielOBlack.com.

Tolly Carr:

Because you have several books.

Daniel Black:

I do. I do. And I’ve got a new one coming out in a minute. I have several books. I’m a writer, which is really why I’m often speaking publicly. Because 80% of the time I’m reading from a book, analyzing it. I do book clubs two or three times a week, so I got a lot of irons in the fire. And so this has just ignited the flame.

Tolly Carr:

Oh, my God. Well, irony is not the right word. The interesting part. Our photographer, Vaughn Wilson, shout out to Vaughn. He was there because his niece was graduating from Clark Atlanta.

Daniel Black:

I was wondering how Game Day got this. I was like-

Tolly Carr:

His niece was there. And so Vaughn, he came up from Tallahassee, Florida. He covers FAMU for us. He just always brings his camera. If he’s going to be at an event, he’s like, “Let me just record.” He was not there to record you at all.

Daniel Black:

That’s so insane.

Tolly Carr:

Of course he wasn’t. He’s put a post on Facebook that said, “The voice speaks to Black people everywhere.”

Daniel Black:

Wow.

Tolly Carr:

The voice came to him and said, “Set up the camera on a wide shot. Keep working on the story you’re working on, but just make sure you record.”

Daniel Black:

That’s so insane.

Tolly Carr:

And he said, within the first 30 seconds he knew to go back to the camera to make sure the audio was right, to make sure everything was in focus. Because 30 seconds in he knew something was happening. And he sent us a message even before your speech was over and told the staff, “Guys, get ready. I just heard the best commencement speech I’ve ever heard in my life.” And I was thinking at the moment, oh, okay, all right. You’re there. You’re in the moment. It feels good.

Daniel Black:

Right.

Tolly Carr:

But when I heard it and the reaction, we’re almost half a million views.

Daniel Black:

That’s crazy. And that’s just on this platform.

Tolly Carr:

And outside of us just being there. Yes. That’s just us.

Daniel Black:

That’s right. That’s right. It’s just so remarkable. And again, I think the thing that brings me the greatest, greatest, greatest joy is the unbelievable pride this has ignited in alumni all over this country who have degrees from Black colleges. I think Black colleges in so many ways have not gotten our due. I think we’ve been under celebrated. I think in so many ways we’ve been gypped off in terms of recognition. And, quite frankly, financial support. But I do think this speech really helps to turn that tide and to heal that gap. And I’m really happy about that.

Tolly Carr:

I love boldness. I love boldness with a purpose. In your speech, you called Clark Atlanta the home of the Holy Ghost.

Daniel Black:

Yes.

Tolly Carr:

And during your speech you said, “The Holy Ghost said hell yeah.”

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

A lot of people love that. A few people had to clutch their pearls.

Daniel Black:

Sure. Sure.

Tolly Carr:

Where does that boldness come from?

Daniel Black:

Well, see, my PhD is in Africana American studies. And one of the things that I’m trying to get Black people to do is to reconsider who has the authority to speak for God. See, we’ve spent the last 450 years believing that we are God’s audience, but not God’s mouthpiece. Somebody else always gets to be the speaker, right? Historically, we’ve even used texts like the Bible, et cetera. But anytime I ask my students, they freeze. I’m not mad at the Bible, but who wrote that? And who had the authority to write it? And why do we lend our obedience and our obeisance unto these folks and to that text? Why? First of all, do you think God wrote that? A human being wrote that. Which is perfectly fine, no problem. And it doesn’t mean it’s not holy. It is holy. No problem.

But that means then that I could write another one. And who gets to determine… God really said, “Slaves obey your masters.”? God said that? Not the God I serve. No, sir. No, ma’am. Because if that’s true, Nat Turner was wrong. If that’s true, Harriet was wrong. No, sir. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. And so, in many ways, I’m trying to get Black folks paradigmatically to reconsider our sources of knowledge. For us to reorient ourselves in terms of how we understand God, how we understand the divine, et cetera. And I absolutely believe that when I think of myself and think of my life, and when I think of Black life in America, many people meant our destruction. And I absolutely believe the Holy Ghost said, “Hell no.” Absolutely. “You can’t have these people. You can’t have this son of mine. You can’t have this daughter of mine.”

Absolutely not. I do not agree. And I think people were trying so hard to destroy Black people, I think that the Holy Ghost has been adamant about it. And the truth of the matter is Black people have been talking about the Holy Ghost for many years. And there’s a distinction between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit. I won’t get into all of that at this moment. But the reason I’m saying that this way is because in many ways, Black people govern and Black people embody the Holy Ghost. When we go to church, we’re looking for the Holy Ghost. We want the Holy Ghost to be present.

Tolly Carr:

I told you, that voice speaks too.

Daniel Black:

Yeah, absolutely. And people call it that voice, that thing with me. And the reason it remains unnamed is because in so many instances it’s really unidentified. Cognitively, it is not within the English lexicon, if you will, to really be able to name and speak this thing. But Black people are clear about it, and we know when it shows up and we like it, and we know our expressions. We have all kinds of things. Like, baby, we had church today, we had church. We all know what that means. We went in, we know what all of this… If you’re Black, you know what this means. And so I absolutely took the authority to speak for the Holy Ghost. Absolutely. Because as a Black man in America it’s my inheritance and my lineage and I can. And I’m trying to teach Black children, make sure that when you hear God, it sounds like you.

Tolly Carr:

I’m not going to tell you anything that you don’t know. And probably many of members of our audience out there. But when you talk about who wrote the Bible, I remember one day when I was young, it tells you right in the beginning, in the preface before you get to Genesis.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

It tells you who wrote it.

Daniel Black:

It really does.

Tolly Carr:

It tells you who edited it.

Daniel Black:

It translated, absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

It tells you what they left out.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely. And it tells you the year they did it. Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

So when you say it’s from God to man, uncut to you, there has been some addition and subtraction.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely, man. Absolutely. Absolutely. And because of that, I’m not mad at that. But what that does mean is you cannot give authority of this book solely unto God. That’s a dangerous thing for people to do.

Tolly Carr:

Right. And watch our world, something can happen in front of a group of people and 30 minutes later there’s five different stories about what happened.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

And two days later, there’s a million stories about what actually happened.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

So, context is king.

Daniel Black:

Oh, yeah. I agree. I agree. Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

There is so much we could talk about. You don’t have a lot of time because you are in demand. We can sit here for five hours and not repeat the same thing. But I got two questions for you.

Daniel Black:

Yes, sir.

Tolly Carr:

One, we’ll have a little fun here. This was such a movie, right? This moment was like a movie. I don’t even know if that’s cool to say still. It used to be maybe three months ago. If this movie had a soundtrack, what songs would be in the soundtrack of this moment that you had?

Daniel Black:

What songs would be in the soundtrack? Wow, what a great question.

Tolly Carr:

They Not Like Us, would be there, because you had such a strong reference. Inspired. Songs inspired by.

Daniel Black:

Yes, yes, yes. What songs would be in this soundtrack? I’d answer it this way. I’m not sure I know the specific songs that’d be in the soundtrack, but it’d have to be a little gospel, have to be a little blues. It’s got to be some hip hop. A little minute of jazz I’d throw in there, for sure. In other words, I think if I can risk humility here, I think that the speech really, really bespeaks the Black musical tradition in America, from the field hollers to the quartet movement to the gospel choir movement, again, to jazz, to blues, hip hop, et cetera. I think it spans all of that. And if I had my way, I would probably include something from every genre as a background for this speech.

Tolly Carr:

Well, for people watching online, this might be a fun moment in the comments for them to put some songs that they think were

Daniel Black:

Absolutely

Tolly Carr:

Some songs that they think belong to the soundtrack-

Daniel Black:

Listen, I’m open for suggestions.

Tolly Carr:

… soundtrack of this moment. The final question. The next time you give a speech, the bar is pretty damn high.

Daniel Black:

The bar is high. Because the question everybody’s been asking is, “Who will be the commencement speaker next year?” And I tell them, “I don’t know, but I’ll certainly be clapping for somebody.” It is high. And the thing I’ve resolved for myself is I’m not going to try to duplicate or to match that speech, I’m going to simply write other speeches and say other things and let them do whatever God will have them do. Because just as the Holy Ghost ushered in this speech and the energy and the reaction, the Holy Ghost is consistent. So the Holy Ghost will do it again. And I’m anxious and I’m excited to see how the Holy Ghost does it when and where.

Tolly Carr:

You have felt the energy, you have felt the weight, you have felt the importance of what you had to say.

Daniel Black:

Absolutely.

Tolly Carr:

What do you hope, if at all, that this will lead to, that this will change, that this will impact?

Daniel Black:

Sure. I hope it will triple admissions applications to HBCUs. Triple. That’s my prayer, that it will triple admissions applications to HBCUs. The other thing is that I hope it will absolutely positively cause people all over this nation to donate financially to HBCUs, because HBCUs need the resources. And with more resources, we can do greater kinds of things for a greater number of students. So many of our students leave HBCUs saddled with debt. If we could reduce the debt that so many of our students have to carry once they leave HBCUs, I feel like the future of Black kids and the future financial success of Black kids could be more assured. Because even when Black kids leave and get good jobs and do what open businesses, et cetera, they have to give half of it back for 25 years. So if we could solve that dilemma or at least get a chunk of that dilemma erased, I feel like it would really make a difference.

Tolly Carr:

He is the man. He put it down for the culture. He has kicked off the HBCU summer. Say what you will, all the accolades apply. Dr. Daniel Black.

Daniel Black:

Hey, thank you.

Tolly Carr:

Clark Atlanta University.

Daniel Black:

Appreciate you.

Tolly Carr:

Author, motivator, the greatest commencement speech-

Daniel Black:

Thanks, y’all.

Tolly Carr:

… you have ever heard. Thank you so much for hanging out with us here. A very special moment here at HBCU Game Day.

Daniel Black reacts to his viral HBCU speech







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