(AllHipHop News) President Barack Obama addressed the graduates at Howard University’s commencement ceremony on Saturday. During the presentation at the HBCU located in Washington, DC, the POTUS offered his thoughts on current racial inequality as well as the advancement of African-Americans in the country over the last 30 years.
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The 45-minute speech included President Obama referring to the rise of Hip Hop culture. Obama also mentioned global music superstar Beyoncé and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes as examples of the advancements African-Americans have made in the U.S. since he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.
“A lot of folks didn’t even think blacks had the tools to be a quarterback,” said the president. “When I was a graduate, the main black hero on TV was Mr. T. Rap and Hip Hop were counter-culture. Now Shonda Rhimes owns Thursday night and Beyoncé runs the world.”
While acknowledging there are still issues like income inequality, education reform, and mass incarceration that need to be solved, President Obama made the case that the country as a whole is better off than it was in the early 1980’s.
Obama stated, “Since the year I graduated, the poverty rate is down. Americans with college degrees, that rate is up. Crime rates are down. America’s cities have undergone a renaissance. There are more women in the workforce. They’re earning more money. We’ve cut teen pregnancy in half. We’ve slashed the African-American dropout rate by almost 60 percent, and all of you have a computer in your pocket that gives you the world at the touch of a button.”
Watch President Barack Obama’s commencement address at Howard University below.