On Wednesday, Donovan Livingston graduated with a master’s of education from Harvard University. He was asked to deliver a Convocation for his college’s commencement. In place of the traditional eloquently written and witty graduation pep-talk, Livingston opted to recite a spoken word poem that has since gone viral.
The poem, titled Lift Off, proved to be much more than a graduation speech —- it was mirror to the obstacles of young black kids in the education system, including Livingston himself.
“I’ve been a Black hole in the classroom for far too long,” he said. “Absorbing everything, without allowing my light escape. But those days are done. I belong among the stars.And so do you. And so do they.”
The school’s administration hailed it as “one of the most powerful, heartfelt student speeches you will ever hear.”
Take a listen and prepare to be inspired.
Watch the full speech here.