First Lady Michelle Obama Addresses Graduates in New Orleans
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to graduates at Dillard University on Saturday, equating her struggle as a minority student with theirs. She pushed for graduates to help the next potential class of geniuses by reaching out as tutors and advisers.
“Today I stand before a sea of young geniuses. Oh, yeah,” Obama said to cheers. “But what you shouldn’t be is satisfied.”
The historically black institution in New Orleans was founded in 1930, incorporating earlier institutions that went back to 1869.
Obama stressed that the graduates have opportunities that their parents or grandparents could only dream of. She spoke of the ongoing racial gap in graduation rates and the struggling unemployment rates among black men.
“You might think, ‘Those numbers are terrible. But I’m not part of the problem,’” she said. “And you might think that because you’re not one of those statistics … you can go on our way and never look back. But folks like you and me, we can’t afford to think like that”.
The First Lady recalled how her own mother volunteered at Obama’s school everyday. ”looking back, I have no doubt that my classmates and I got a better education because she was there looking over their shoulder,” she said.