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After Beyoncé honored the nation’s historically Black colleges and universities with her Coachella performance Saturday, the schools are getting ready to honor its students with upcoming commencement ceremonies.

HBCU graduations are a great time to celebrate the Black excellence of students and the speakers who come to share useful knowledge and motivational words. Each school finds a special way to uplift and provide #inspo to its graduating class. Let’s take a look at the successful bosses who will be speaking truth to power at forthcoming commencements:

Chadwick Boseman Heading To Howard

The acclaimed Black Panther actor will deliver the keynote speech at Howard, which is his alma mater. As HU put it in a tweet on Wednesday, they are welcoming home a “native son” for their 150th commencement in Washington, D.C. on May 12.

Boseman, who graduated in 2000 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater, will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, the university’s highest honor, according to reports.

We hope that Boseman will turn the whole campus into a Wakanda IRL.

Angela Rye Slaying At Southern University

The woke CNN commentator will be sharing her inspirational story with students at Southern U in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on May 11.

Rye is so woke that she broke down the difference between the terms “staying woke” and “work woke” during an “Empowerment Seminar” at Southern last month, WAFB, a Baton Rouge news station, reported. It was a powerful discussion that had folks talking on social media.

Chance The Rapper Dropping Truth At Dillard

Dillard University, a school that frequently invites famous figures to its New Orleans campus, will welcome the Grammy award-winning rapper at its commencement on May 12. The more than 200 graduates and school officials are pretty happy about Chance blessing them with his presence and words.

“He’s the artist that your grandmother would love,” university president Walter Kimbrough said to WAFB. “I thought he made for a great commencement speaker because of his spirit of being entrepreneurial and authentic, but his civic engagement, including encouraging people to vote and willingness to speak out on issues, like his recent opposition to a Heineken ad, are just as paramount.”

Former NFL Star Tyrone Poole Focusing On Football At Fort Valley State University

Poole, a former cornerback for the New England Patriots and member of two Super Bowl-winning teams in 2004 and 2005, will try to score a touchdown with his speech at Fort Valley State University’s commencement on May 5.

Derrick Johnson Bringing NAACP To Tougaloo

NAACP National President and CEO Derrick Johnson will be the featured speaker during the commencement at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi on May 6.

April Ryan Reporting From Claflin University

The journalist and White House correspondent will be speaking at Claflin U in Orangeburg, South Carolina on May 12.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms And Motivational Speaker Eric Thomas Heading To Tennessee State University

Bottoms will bless graduates on May 4 at Tennessee U. Thomas, a nationally known orator, will address undergraduates on May 5.

Bottoms At Georgia Tech

The mayor will also speak at Georgia Tech on May 5, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.

Tom Joyner Coming To Morgan State University, Morris Brown And Concordia Colleges

The renowned national radio show host will speak at Morgan State‘s 142nd spring commencement in Atlanta on May 19. Joyner will also speak on that day at Morris Brown and will also go to Concordia, according to his foundation website.

Don Lemon Anchoring At Clark Atlanta University

The CNN anchor will report live from Clark Atlanta on May 21, AJC reported.

Loretta Lynch Talking Learning At Florida A&M School Of Law

The 83rd U.S. attorney general will be the keynote speaker at FAMU College Of Law annual hooding ceremony on May 12.

Dr. Mae C. Jemison Making Memories At Miles College

The former astronaut, engineer and physician will deliver a speech to the graduates at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama on May 5.

Alma S. Adams To Represent At Lincoln University

The U.S. rep will speak at Lincoln‘s 159th Commencement in Pennsylvania on May 6.

Sheryl Underwood Bringing The Funny To Voorhees College

The actress and The Talk co-host will be the keynote speaker at Voorhees’ 121st Commencement on May 5.

More Honorable Mentions: 

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture Director Lonnie Bunch III – Praire View A&M University

Jackson, Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba – Jackson State University

Brown University Professor Dr. Marion Orr – Savannah State

North Carolina State Senator Joel Ford – North Carolina A&T

President Of Rust College Dr. David Beckley – Wiley College

President Of Toyota Mississippi Sean Suggs – Mississippi Valley State University

The Associated Press Race And Ethnicity Writer And Author Jesse J. Holland – Jarvis Christian College

HBCU students may also hear from Roland Martin at Texas Southern University.


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