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Chadwick Boseman Gives Commencement Address at Howard University

Howard Forever!
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Black Panther star/your boyfriend Chadwick Boseman was the commencement speaker at Howard University’s graduation ceremony yesterday. Boseman returned to his alma mater to give words of wisdom to the new graduates in a rousing and inspiring speech that proved he’s not just the king of Wakanda, he’s the king of our hearts. “I don’t know what your future is,” said Boseman, at the university’s 150th commencement. “But if you’re willing to take the harder way, the more complicated one, the one with more failures at first than successes, then you will not regret it.”

Boseman praised student protesters in his speech, who spent nine days occupying the Howard administration building and won an overhaul of the school’s sexual assault policy, the creation of a food bank to serve students and the surrounding community and a review of policies allowing campus police officers to carry weapons. “Everything that you fought for was not for yourself, it was for those who came after you,” he said to the crowd of graduates. “Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalization. The fact that you have struggled with this university that you loved is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world that you are entering.”

The students were overcome with emotion at Boseman’s presence and took to social media to share their excitement.

Boseman wrapped up his speech by urging grads to find their own purpose in the world and prioritize that over a job or career. “Purpose is an essential element of you,” he said. “It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill. Whatever you choose for a career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.”

Watch the speech in its entirety below and I dare you not to come out of it inspired to take on the world.

(via Huffington Post, image: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GQ)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.