Gov. Wes Moore of Maryland, the first Black governor of that state and the only Black governor in the United States addressed the 139th graduating class of Morehouse College on Sunday, May 21. Moore urged students and grads to be vigilant about attempts to erase or rewrite Black history.
“As Black men in America, we know our present is the result of the fights, the struggles, and the victories of the past. We are here because of people who marched and prayed over generations…,” Moreland stated. “And since history is one of the things that helped get you here, it is the very thing that can also move you forward.”
With more than 400 grads, alumni friends and family on Century Campus for the ceremony, Moore emphasized the connections of the past and the present and his hopes for their impact on the future.
“Men of Morehouse: I stand before you as the first Black governor of my state and only the third Black governor ever elected in our nation’s history with a simple message: Our history is our power. I have come to tell you that you must hold this history close – because life will test you, and when it does, your history will give you the power to meet the challenge,” Gov. Moore said.
“When politicians ban books and muzzle educators, they say it’s an effort to prevent ‘discomfort and guilt’ – but we know that’s not true. This is not about fear of making people feel bad. This is about fear of people understanding their power. This is about fear of you realizing that you come from a long line of titans – and visionaries – and dreamers – and pioneers – people who defied the odds and helped build this nation with their hands, their hearts, and their minds.”
Moore concluded the address with a directive for the graduating class of men. “Today, I am calling on you, class of 2023, to confront this threat as you move to the next stage in your lives. Celebrate your history – unapologetically.”